International Students

International Students are welcome to apply for the Arts Co-op program during our annual intake each September.

Eligibility requirements are the same for all undergraduate Arts students, including international students.

To view a full list of requirements and application steps, view the Apply for Co-op page.

Competing for Co-op Jobs

Landing a co-op position is a competitive process, just like it is in the “real world.” With the training and support we provide, students have a high rate of success in securing co-op jobs. This is particularly true for those who work hard and persist, as you can expect to apply to 20-30 jobs and attend multiple interviews to obtain your first co-op position.

Please keep this in mind when making decisions about your participation in the program and feasibility given your personal circumstances.

This means that you’ll need to be strategic about when you apply, particularly for summer jobs. In 2019, the percentage of summer jobs open to international students followed this trend:

  • January: 71%
  • February: 71%
  • March: 67%
  • April*: 49%
  • May*: 51%

*Federally funded jobs, which are unavailable to international students, are mostly posted in April and May.

Plan to apply to as many jobs as you can from January through March to take advantage of a greater proportion of positions open to you.

Eligibility for Positions

Certain sectors have different considerations for international students:

  • Non-Profit: In the summer terms, many non-profit organizations rely on federal wage subsidies to fund their student positions, which international students would not be eligible for. There will still be some non-profit positions that are not federally funded and would be open to you but expect that there will be more non-profit opportunities that you’d be eligible for in the fall and winter terms.
  • Government: International students are eligible for the vast majority of municipal and provincial government positions, and typically not eligible for federal government positions.
  • Private Businesses: International students are eligible for the vast majority of jobs in the private sector.

Stats on Eligibility

In 2019, these were the percentage of jobs that were open to international students.


Winter 2019


Summer 2019


Fall 2019

Considerations During COVID-19

UBC has cancelled all international mobility programs through December 2021. As a result, all co-op positions need to be completed while living in Canada, regardless of whether the employer is based in Canada or other parts of the world. Students can apply to opportunities while living abroad but must be physically in Canada to work for a co-op employer.

Newly admitted students from the 2020/2021 intake may apply for their co-op work permit along with their application for initial study permit from outside of Canada.

If you’ve already applied for an initial study permit, you should contact the International Student Advising office by sending an email to Include your UBC student number in the subject line, and ask for advice on how to apply for your co-op work permit from outside of Canada.

You will also need a written letter explaining why you’re currently out of the country. The International Student Advising office can support you with this.

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