Co-op students working with Duke Energy at Zimmer Power Plant.

Co-op and Employment

The University of Cincinnati invented cooperative education in 1906, putting real-world practice into the heart of a UC education.

UC continues to have one of the largest cooperative education programs in the world, with over 3,500 students participating in co-op each year. We also brought the co-op model to China, founding the Joint Co-op Insititute with Chongqing University in 2012.

But we're more than just co-op. All students should have the opportunity to experience the world of work during their degree program.

International Co-op and Internships

International experience-based learning includes academic internships, cooperative education, research, and service learning opportunities abroad.

UC's Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education facilitates a variety of international work experiences for students.

UC works with the Academic Internship Council (AIC) to provide work experience for three months in another country. AIC helps students with overseas housing, finding a job, finding financial aid, completing necessary documents, and student travel discounts.

Students in any major can participate; however, certain cities are better for certain fields. Students in a co-op program may complete an international internship in place of one co-op rotation.

International experiences can take place in fall, spring or summer semester.

The International Co-op Program is an opportunity for students to work in a professional environment outside the U.S. for up to eight months.

Students in the International Co-op Program prepare for the program by learning a second language in depth. They can work in a country where the primary language is any of the following:

  • German
  • Japanese
  • French
  • Spanish

You may secure an international work experience outside one of our established programs.

Such experiences can include cooperative education, academic internship, undergraduate research, service learning, and Experiential Exploration Program (EEP). Students may apply to UC for course credit for their experience.

UC students traveling abroad for an academic program are required to document their experience with UC International.

Beau Becker stands in front of a castle in Germany.

"One of the challenges that you face with working abroad is the sense of loneliness at first. You go from being in University to working alone in a city that you have never been in. This, coupled with not knowing the language 100%, can be a bit scary. A positive attitude, a sense to explore the world, and communication with those back home help mitigate this feeling.

The International Co-op Program is a worthwhile experience that is really, truly once in a lifetime. This is the best opportunity to see the world and explore it."

Beau Becker, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science

Working as an International Student

F-1 and J-1 students may work under certain circumstances with authorization from UC International.

The opportunities available to you also vary by your visa type. Each type has restrictions on the types of work you can do.

International students on F-1 and J-1 status can work on campus for a limited number of hours while school is in session. 

If you apply for and receive an offer for an on-campus job, you will need to work with UC International to complete the job acceptance process.

International students are not allowed to work off campus without authorization from the Department of Homeland Security.

F-1 and J-1 students are typically only allowed to work off campus if they have experienced severe economic hardship.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 students to gain work experience before or after graduation to complement their academic program.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is designed to provide eligible students with employment experience that is part of an established curriculum, such as a required co-op or internship.

Academic training is authorized employment for J-1 students which provides complementary practical experience in a student's field of study.

When you receive a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship, you may be required to work in return.