International Co-op Through A Domestic Employer

The School of Engineering has more than 50 industry partners that have foreign operations. Whether you have already begun your co-op, are looking for your first co-op placement, or are interested in working abroad, talk to your current or future employer about the possibility of fulfilling one of your three co-op rotations at one of their foreign facilities.

Please note that the School of Engineering does not have standing agreements with industry partners to send students on foreign assignments. Students must negotiate such assignments directly with the employer. A number of engineering students have been successful in obtaining a foreign assignment through their domestic co-op employers and have found these experiences to be invaluable.

Advantages of working abroad for your employer include:

  • Building confidence, self-reliance, and adaptability
  • Learning or improving a foreign language
  • Learning how the company’s foreign operations function
  • Building cultural awareness
  • Learning new work styles and building international networks
  • Gaining new qualifications and improving professional skills
Casey Thelenwood

Assistant Dean, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing
Office: 332 Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-6260
Email: [email protected]

Information and Procedures for Engineering Students


Fall Semester during 3rd Co-op Rotation

Application Deadline

Students must apply to study abroad in OASIS by February 1 in order to participate in the exchange the following fall.


  • Open to students accepted into the School of Engineering
  • Secondary admission required
  • Students must have a minimum 2.70 GPA
  • Students completing an international co-op assignment through their domestic employer must register for EGR 490 (3 credits) at GVSU. Failure to do so may result in DELAYED GRADUATION.

Student Responsibilities

The following arrangements must be worked out between the STUDENT and the EMPLOYER:

  • Assignment Duration (including start and end dates)
  • Project Duties
  • Housing (students are typically responsible for providing their own housing)
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Work Permits (if applicable)
  • Hours Worked (per week)
  • Pay Amount, Schedule and Date of First Paycheck

Global Perspectives and Issues Credit

All students completing at least 3 credits abroad will automatically fulfill the Global Perspectives requirement. No additional paperwork is required.

A student completing an international co-op may fulfill up to 3 credits of the general education Issues requirement IF they SUBMIT A WRITTEN REFLECTION PAPER with the corresponding form to the General Education Office WITHIN 60 days after the end of the study abroad program, AND the student takes ONE 3-credit Issues course at GVSU from a DIFFERENT DISCIPLINE (not engineering). The issues course cannot be counted for both Issues and Foundation credit.

For more information on fulfilling Global Perspectives and Issues Requirements, visit the Padnos International Center General Education web page.

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Page last modified April 11, 2022