To Coop Or To Not Coop…

In the path to University and the research, we often hear Coop , Internship, Exchange,so what exactly do these terms mean? Coop, Internships and exchanges are all super amazing experiences that I think everyone should take advantage of no matter where you are headed next year.


Let me start with exchanges, the three months I spent going to school in France have by far been the most amazing, educating and exciting months of my life. I have since fallen in love with traveling and I was even considering taking a year off backpacking. An exchange is not just a trip to another country, specially at a university level, the exchanges are hardcore usually for a whole year or at least a semester. You don’t just go to France, Spain, China, wherever, but you become French, Spanish, Chinese for the time that you are spending abroad. To be able to live in a county, study in a foreign university, meet their people, eat their food, live their lives, maybe learn their language and at the same time gain credits towards your degree. What is there to lose? I think an exchange to anywhere is a magnificent opportunity. Plus at university you could go on exchange to almost anywhere I recently found out that you could go to Cuba even.

Coop :

Most people have probably heard of coop already, there is coop at high school too except high school coop is rarely ever paid coop. At university almost all coops are paid and depending on the degree and the coop program you split your time working and studying in different patterns (first year , second year, etc). There are many pros to doing coop at university and a few cons. The major con is not having breaks once you are at university because most coop degrees require you to either do a placement or take courses during the summer. However if you think about it, once you are at university you’ll probably work during the summer anyway so to be honest, whether you do coop or not, once you are out of high school summer breaks wont really mean much to you anymore unless your parents are both doctors and you are the only child in which case you could just spend the summer spending their money. Otherwise if you are going to be working the summer in order to pay your car’s insurance or your tuition or residence fees then you might as well work in a field related to your degree so coop and internship.

Coop vs Internship:

Coop and Internships are very similar but not quite the same. The main difference between the two is that once you are signed up for a degree with coop then you must complete your coop in order to get your degree, whereas with internships, it is completely optional, you may choose to do an internships in the summer or go travel if your parents are rich. It is completely up to you, with internship you will get you degree with or without an internship. The other difference might be the duration of your placement depending on the university. All Coop and internship programs are through the university and there is a three way contract between you, your school, and your employer.

The bottom line:

The advantage of co-op or exchange is not just the experience, for those of you future doctors and dentists and lawyers that are planning to continue with something after your Bachelors, let me tell you that when it comes down to those applications for graduate schools and they have 2 students in front of them with the same GPA (university average) they will definitely take you who has done co-op and a semester in China over the nerd that hasn’t left his dorm. So no matter where you are headed with your university studies, if you have the opportunity to do an exchange, take coop or participate in an internship, TAKE IT!

Good luck to us all

-Mister Teengle


12 Responses to “To Coop Or To Not Coop…”

  1. 1 Mike Perelman November 11, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Simply amazing..good job gave me a lot to think about!

  2. 2 teengle November 14, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Thnks mikey, it’s good that you’re worrying about university already. I started my research when I was in gr.10 and I got most my information at the university fair when i was in gr.11 coz in gr.12 you are already busy with so much work n shit that u wont have much time for research n crap, plus research is never too much… uni is a very vital decision so it better be a well informed one…

  3. 3 joshh November 14, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    yep definetly start in grade 11 because if you start looking at universities then, and you find one you really like, it will motivate you to do well in school to attain the marks you need to make it in.

  4. 5 joshh November 15, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Yeah basically.

  5. 6 Mike Perelman November 19, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Good point and thats why i started late last year in grade 10 looking for universities. At this point i’ve almost finalized my decision and im now stuck on just 2 universities. What i recommend most tho is to talk to your guidance councilors, best advice you can get in high school. My guidance councilor laid down my options, i thought about it carefully and now i am almost set to go! Co-op especially is helping me make a clearer decision on which university to pick.

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