Co-op and studying abroad

By Natalie Sit

Now that you’re here, you probably want to leave. But fear not, leaving the University of Calgary is easily done. You have five options: internships, co-ops, field schools, term abroad programs and exchanges.

Career Services (MSC 188) organizes internships and co-ops. Through these two options you gain valuable work experience, money and a sick realization that reality and academia rarely meet. Work experience is available for almost every department, even philosophy.

Next are field schools which usually apply to archaeology, anthropology and geography. You spend half the time in the classroom and the other half travelling to exotic locales. If nothing else, it’s an academic excuse to go on vacation.

The term abroad program goes to three locations: China, Prague and India. You take U of C courses and pay U of C tuition. You also pay a program fee which includes, flight, visas, accommodations and some field trips among other things. They last four months and travel afterwards is always an option barring, I don’t know, SARS and other disasters. Speaking from experience, learning about the country from its citizens and living there is invaluable. And SARS is fun in a twisted kind of way.

Exchanges are different from TAPs for several reasons. You’re not in a big group and the courses you take might not be applicable to your degree. On the other hand you can choose any university that has an agreement with U of C. For example, the University of Albania student pays his tuition there, you pay here and you switch places, with both of you paying the tuition you would normally expect to pay. But you’re not entirely on your own as there are coordinators. For information on TAP and exchanges, visit the International Student Centre (MSC 275).

If you refuse to consider any of these options, you will be regretting it in the years to come. Having international experience is great on resumes, gets you out of this hellhole, but most importantly, makes you realize how privileged the West is.

So why are you still reading this? Get out there!

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