From the moun­tains of Tibet to the streets of Bei­jing, North­eastern stu­dents are increas­ingly finding co-​​op posi­tions in busi­nesses and non-​​profit orga­ni­za­tions out­side the United States.

According to the university’s Office of Inter­na­tional Co-​​op Pro­grams, during the cur­rent semester stu­dents are com­pleting co-​​ops in 41 cities in 30different coun­tries. This is sup­ple­mented by other expe­ri­en­tial learning activ­i­ties taking place abroad in a total of 85 cities out­side the U.S.

Here at North­eastern we have always believed that the best way to learn is to inte­grate study and prac­tice, which is why co-​​op remains part of our DNA.” said Pres­i­dent Joseph Aoun. “Our fac­ulty and stu­dents realize that effec­tive learning must also take place out­side the class­room, whether it’s in Boston, Los Angeles or Singapore.”

This semester’s inter­na­tional co-​​ops span many dif­ferent fields and indus­tries, ranging from a com­puter sci­ence major working at IBM in China to stu­dents working in Tibet as phys­ical ther­a­pists. There are sev­eral stu­dents working in finance jobs in London and Paris, as well as engi­neering stu­dents working in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

Com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions from all over the world con­tinue to come to North­eastern because our stu­dents have a track record of making impor­tant pro­fes­sional con­tri­bu­tions,” said Ketty Rosen­feld, director of inter­na­tional co-​​op pro­grams. “There are also some fields, such as micro­fi­nance and sus­tain­able energy, where there are more oppor­tu­ni­ties over­seas than there are here in the U.S.”

The global expan­sion of co-​​op comes at a time when many stu­dents are preparing to line up jobs after grad­u­a­tion. According to a recent study by the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­leges and Employers, 76 per­cent of employers say that they prefer to hire stu­dents with rel­e­vant job expe­ri­ence, prefer­ably from a co-​​op or mean­ingful internship.

As North­eastern pre­pares to cel­e­brate 100 years of co-​​op during the2009-​​2010 aca­d­emic year, many other uni­ver­si­ties are adding expe­ri­en­tial learning to their cur­ricu­lums. “Others are seeing what we’ve known for many years,” added Pres­i­dent Aoun. “The world is too inter­esting to ignore.”