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International Co-op Students Challenges and Opportunities

International Co-op Students Challenges and Opportunities

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International Co-op Students Challenges and Opportunities

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  1. International Co-op StudentsChallenges and Opportunities Darlene O’Neill, Manager, Career, Co-op and CES Fanshawe College Lori Elliott, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business Sheridan College

  2. Opportunities Fresh perspectives for employer and the institution Very high levels of engagement and commitment to finding co-op opportunities Fun to work with

  3. Challenge: Cultural Competency • Run specialized programming: bootcamps, extra prep course • Bring in speakers/coaches from their native culture • One on one coaching • Specialized workshops • Junior student buddy/mentors

  4. Challenge: Cultural Competency • Partner with community immigrant services and have them do a session(s) with staff • Specialized PD for staff (cultural EQ) • Student mentors (same culture) • Providing a mentor from country of origin • Peer connections • Learning from Canadian peers

  5. Challenge: Cultural Competency • Discussion of importance of educating employees • Canadian “politeness” versus being directional, straight forward with consequences • PD sessions on Canadian norms and Canadian values and expectations • Workplace culture and professionalism in workplace – in development • Employers on campus – weekend sessions, specific information sessions for each group • Mentor

  6. Challenge: Cultural Competency • One on one - time consuming • International centre • Booklet - handbook on ‘how to’ • Senior student/buddy – country of origin • Information session for ethnic groups with specific details • Mentors

  7. Challenge: Language Pre-entry testing and interviewing Use work study students/Peer Mentors to provide extensive 1:1 mock interviews Use on line tools such as Interview Stream

  8. Challenge: Language • Social mandatory discussion classes (minimum five classes, 90 minutes in English) • Writing centre (students helping international students) • Encourage volunteer to practice English • One on one guidance • Partnering with employer who hire specific international students • Video tape students and give feedback

  9. Challenge: Language • UBC sets language requirements • PD sessions partnered with local students – practice • Intake interview process – take language course • Collaboration with Career Services (resumes and cover letters) • Use work study/mentors – mock interviews

  10. Challenge: Language • Pre-entry testing and interviewing needs to be more stringent • Language centre to work with students to meet higher criteria • Minimum five sessions of ninety minutes by ESL as part of the requirement from co-op. Some students keep going for up to ten sessions (even 15+). Sessions are about talking in English with others – get them to practice

  11. Challenge: No drivers license • Tough one • Encourage car pooling • Encourage local on bus route job searches • Positions with staff bussing available • Scooter and bicycle • International license pre coming to Canada (in English

  12. Challenge: No drivers license • Recruiters • Reality of program and job requirements • Standard information so students know what to expect • Meeting with co-op team to engage and make sure all students are aware of requirements and expectations • Campus hiring shuttle drivers • Ask employers participation to offer rides and such

  13. Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other) • Encourage on-campus involvement such as volunteer or co-curricular experiences • Encourage campus partners to hire for work experiences • Volunteer • Social • Competitions • Non-related • Work experience is valuable

  14. Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other) • Focus on mining skill statements and recognitions from existing experiences • Applied education activities within programs • Encourage off-campus volunteer • Community encouragement, partner with multi-cultural association • Fundraising events, volunteering with organization. Focus on culture coaching

  15. Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other) • Create volunteer fair (Niagara College) • UBC Career Services = Work experience on campus • Work to learn/work study jobs. Career Services subsidies • Work 10 hours per week • Encourage students to participate in cultural associations • Join professional association as student to gain skills and focus • Change name to Canadian name

  16. Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other) • On campus volunteer events • Campus/faculty campus partners to hire for work experience • Focus on skills and how to transfer to workplace • Within the resume, students write a summary on who they are, some of their skills, etc.

  17. Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other) Fraud – Fake co-op opportunities. Indian students going to Indian employers and will work for free on non-approved co-op terms. Huge need to audit and follow-up in order to approve

  18. Challenge: Mismatch of expectations Communicate, communicate, communicate – Pre-admission sessions Build strong relationships with International Office Provide recruiters with clear Co-op communiques

  19. Challenge: Mismatch of expectations • Not using words like guarantee “placements” • Special circumstances ‘rules changed’ • Information to recruiters • International department needs to understand and duplicate standards • Communication, information, policy enforcement • Information sessions

  20. Challenge: Focus on graduate employment Try to manage expectations Policy Create increased accountability for their own job search If possible have satellite EO office on site for job development

  21. Challenge: Focus on graduate employment • Task force to establish policy • Create increased accountability for their own job search • Engagement is protected by using a contract signed by the student

  22. Challenge: More preparation time and demands Customized programs and classes for International students Small group advising On line workshops available for review, review