How to Make The Most Out of Your International Co-op
Many Northeastern students are about to begin their first international co- op. To help them maximize their experiences, we asked six students who have done global co- ops to share the wisdom they’ve cultivated from having lived and worked abroad.
Evan Bruning, SSH’17, who worked on international co- op at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Read up on the country’s culture and the lifestyle, but be prepared to experience something very different from what you’re accustomed to. To make new friends and cultivate connections, join a meet- up group or go out for dinner with your colleagues. When I was working at the Office of the High Representative, my colleagues were really open and honest and gave me some fantastic career advice. And don’t be afraid to take the initiative; two months into my international co- op, I began organizing weekly meet- up sessions, which helped me get to know many other young people.
Aline Bissell, DMSB’17, who worked on international co- op at JVWEB, an e- marketing agency in France:
Talk with your colleagues outside of the work setting and see if your manager would be willing to be a kind of cultural advisor for you. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself and give yourself time to adjust to your new environment. Join an activities group or ask the Global Experience Office to connect you with other Northeastern students who might be working or studying in the same country.
Montana Fredrick, SSH’17, who worked on international co- op at GuestToGuest, a home exchange company in France:
Develop a deep relationship with your co- workers, and try to find one or two people within the company who can advocate for you and teach you as much as possible. When you’re out of the office, walk around and explore your neighborhood. Go grocery shopping and visit museums or other attractions to familiarize yourself with the country’s nuances.