Work & Volunteer Abroad
Thinking about completing your co-op term in another country? Passionate about volunteering in a new country and cultural setting? Finding a job or volunteer opportunity abroad isn’t always easy. It will take time, energy, commitment and a willingness for adventure!
Going abroad for work or volunteering will help you gain valuable skills in your field of study. You will challenge your personal limits, foster your global perspective, and gain a competitive career edge as you will have the opportunity to use the skills you have learned in the classroom and apply them in a real-world setting.
Niagara College and Be World Ready want to help support you on your journey! Explore this page to review the support that Be World Ready has to offer students who are eager to step outside of their comfort zone and travel abroad for work or volunteer opportunities.
Before departing on a work or volunteer experience abroad, students will be required to participate in a mandatory, online pre-departure training. This training will assist with building cultural awareness and risk mitigation to help prepare the students for their time abroad.
After registering the work or volunteer abroad experience, the students will be added to the Be World Ready organization on Blackboard. This will give the student access to the online pre-departure material.
To qualify for the Be World Ready grant, the student must complete the training prior to any assigned deadline, which will be before their departure date.
Students who participate in a volunteer or work abroad opportunity are eligible to receive up to $500 worth of a Be World Ready grant when they return from an experience abroad. Find out more details on the grant.
Please download the following Budget Form:
Students wishing to participate in a work or volunteer experience must download and complete this form prior to registering their opportunity. This form will need to be submitted during the application process and is a requirement in order to be eligible to receive the Be World Ready Grant.
When applying for a work or volunteer abroad experience, we suggest considering the following:
- The reputation of the organization
- Do your research and check out reviews online from past and current employees.
- Paid versus unpaid?
- It is important to understand the payment amount and method prior to accepting a job or opportunity abroad. Some employers provide stipends, etc.
- Be sure to research the currency and exchange rate prior to applying for an opportunity
- Safety of country/region
- We suggest visiting https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for travel advice and advisories prior to applying for a job in another country.
- Investigate the costs and types of visas required for entering and working in another country.
- What is included?
- Consider any inclusions when applying for a job or volunteering with a particular organization. Some jobs include accommodation, in-country orientation etc.
Ways to prepare for your experience abroad:
- Have reserve money
- Be prepared for culture shock
- Research the cultural norms of the country you are visiting prior to your departure.
- International health and travel insurance
- The Be World Ready team can assist you with purchasing international health and travel insurance.
- Prepare your paperwork
- Ensure you have copies of your visas, work permits, passports, health insurance etc.
- Pack with intention
- Research the weather of the country you are visiting and the season in which you are visiting. This will help save you from over-pacing clothing you will not require
- Research costs
- Be sure to research the cost of living in the country you are visiting.
- Research the location
- Prior to departure, research nearby amenities, bus routes, etc.
- Pre-arrange meet-ups and start building relationships before you leave
- Try joining an online social group or club (such as sports or book clubs) to meet locals that share similar interests as yours.
- Create your bucket list!
- The fun part! Research your “must-see’s” and “must-do’s” of the country you are visiting!
Prior to embarking on your new adventure abroad, Be World Ready advises that you make an appointment with your co-op consultant to discuss the following topics and to ensure all is in order before leaving Canada.
- Impacts on your co-op work term (start and end dates)
- Responsibilities while you are away (active job searching and staying connected)
- Resume & Cover letters
- Potential opportunities for staying abroad for your co-op
- Required enrolment and registration process
- Deadlines and academic eligibility
The above notes are key factors that play into your program success and we want to keep you on track for graduation. Once you have accepted the semester exchange, please book an appointment with your Co-op Consultant AND meet with your academic advisor to go over courses you will be taking.