Experience Education Report on Post-C30 Coop Programs for Language Schools
CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL
POST C-30 PROGRAM
OPTIONS FOR CANADIAN
TABLE OF CONTENTS
REPORT SUMMARY 2
ENDING LANGUAGE CO-OP
EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION: AT THE HEART OF CO-OP 3
FROM LANGUAGE CO-OP TO EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION 4
CERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT IS POSSIBLE
VOLUNTEER / VOLUNTERN 6
CAREER TOURS 7
THE LAST OF THE C-30S 8
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE CANADA 9
CHANGES TO THE IEC PROGRAM 10
MANAGING LEGACY PROGRAMS
ABOUT US 11
POST-C30 PROGRAM LISTINGS 11-12
LEGACY PROGRAM LISTINGS 12-13
WORKING WITH EXPERIENCE EDUCATION
CAREER COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY PROGRAM LISTINGS 13
STUDENT SERVICES 14
THE NEXT STEPS 15
1 / from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice
The material in this document is intended to provide only general information and comment. Do not,
under any circumstances, rely on information found in this document as legal/immigration advice.
Legal matters are often complicated. For assistance with your specific legal problem or enquiry please
contact your lawyer or immigration consultant.
from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION /2
On June 1st of this year, Immigration Canada will implement visa changes first proposed by former
Minister Jason Kenney in 2012. These changes will among other things eliminate language school
access to C-30 exemption work permits (also called co-op work permits, or work and study work
permits). This change means that no new students will be able to register in a Language Co-Op
Program after June 1st, 2014 (though registrations made before that date can still come to Canada
and participate in their program). Language Co-Op Programs as they have existed are effectively over.
Our company, Experience Education, is an expert on co-op, practicum, and other experiential
education programs. We have worked with government and industry regulators and have developed a
package of new programs that take advantage of other visa options for language schools.
Schools have had to deal with a lot of uncertainty since the changes were first announced. Our
research, and these new visa / visa-free program options give schools the certainty they have been
New work experience options include:
Farmstay (no work permit required)
Casual Volunteer (no work permit required)
Full-Time Volunteer [what we call ‘Voluntern’] (C50 work permit required)
Career Tours (no work permit required)
As for existing ‘legacy’ programs (the old Language Co-Op Programs), while these can still operate
using International Experience Canada work permits, and SWAP permits, their volume will be
reduced, making in-house program management more costly and reducing program quality. However
outsourcing these programs to a third party, like Experience Education, can help you overcome this
New work experience programs are available for language schools
With C-30 Language Co-Op Programs ending, what work experience
options are still available for language schools?
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Experiential education is at the heart of co-op
Language Co-Op Programs refer to a suite of programs including: paid service sector jobs, unpaid
professional internships, paid professional internships, and self placements.
With changes to federal immigration regulations, language school access to C-30 exemption work
permits will be stopped. This means most Language Co-Op Programs will be swept away, with final
ESL sales done on them by June 1st, 2014.
They are not closed entirely, language school student access to International Experience Canada
programs is explicitly allowed, as is access to work programs regulated by the Temporary Foreign
Worker Office (rather than the International Student Program Office) at CIC. On balance, though, the
greatest part of these programs are gone.
However, at the heart of Language Co-Op is the concept of ‘experiential education’ - that is to say,
learning by doing, learning by seeing. And while the C-30’s are gone, experiential forms of education
will remain. They will not be identical to what was there before, but they will be more stable, more
controlled, more educationally valid.
It’s not all bad. Other options are available.
Language Co-Op Programs were designed to give students the opportunity to
practice their English or French in a real ‘social context’. We at EE have done a
research review and prepared a policy paper for Languages Canada on social
context, and it is in our view a valid concept - it’s unfortunate that the federal
government chose not to recognize that.
Language Co-Op had a few particularities:
All of these particularities will go as we transition from language co-op programs
to experiential education programs.
There will be no more C30 visas, instead new programs will be largely visa free, or
will use C50 visas (which are discussed later in this document). The 50:50 rule is
gone too, with the length of the experiential component of their educational
program unconnected to studies. Insurance, reporting, regulatory compliance, all
of these considerations also go out the door.
Instead what we are left with are a suite of programs whose shape is determined
by federal and provincial law, and that can be done independent of studies.
Transitioning from one type of program to another means learning about how
they work, training agents on it, developing rules so that they build up enough
study weeks to make such programs profitable, and lastly - creating vetting and
monitoring tools to ensure that these new placements are legal, safe, and
For schools running their programs in-house, the cost for transition could be high,
and the potential requirements from private or government regulators are uncer-
tain. For schools outsourcing programs however, the transition costs are almost
non-existent, and private industry regulations do not apply.
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A C30 co-op work permit was issued with the school listed as the employer
Programs must be 50:50, i.e. no more than 50% of the total program can
be made up of work experience
Work experience must be connected to studies in some demonstrable way
Schools were responsible for workplace insurance for the student during
their unpaid internships
From Language Co-Op to Experiential Education
Since first seeing the CIC co-op visa changes coming, Experience Education has been in conversation
with government, and with other players in the industry. We have used this time to test different
programs, to run them by government, and to build the infrastructure to operate them at high volume.
We have come up with 3 types of new programs that can operate with absolute reliability and
certainty. None of these programs require approval by government or industry regulators, they are
programs that schools can offer as tourism options - just as they offer trips to Whistler or Niagara
Farmstay is unpaid work experience on a farm. Students go to a farm outside of a major city and
receive room and board in exchange for a small amount of daily work helping out around the farm.
Farmstays are an established program, but only recently were the rules for them clarified.
The January, 2014 revision of Immigration Canada’s Foreign Worker Manual elaborates on the
conditions for a farmstay placement to be visa free:
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… if a tourist wishes to stay on a family farm and work part time just for room and board
for a short period (i.e., one to four weeks), this person would not be considered a worker.
Work on a farm that is expected to extend beyond four weeks would require a work
Source: Page 29 http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/fw/fw01-eng.pdf
Three new programs to give language school students the opportunity
to improve their skills in a real social context
WHAT IS POSSIBLE
Experience Education has had talks with regulators and government
in order to develop a set of unique, secure, and sustainable
experiential education programs for language schools.
CIC goes on to set a 3-part test for whether or not a farmstay can be done visa
Is the [farmstay] incidental for the main reason for entering Canada?
Is this a commercial, or a non-commercial (family) farm?
How many weeks is the farmstay?
A person can come to Canada for farmstay if it’s not the main reason they are in
the country, if the farm is verifiably non-commercial, and if the farmstay does not
exceed 4 weeks.
This type of program, like all of the post-C30 programs, does not require a study
period, but the presence of a study period does help to establish part 1 of the
3-part test. For the other parts, careful screening, selection, and monitoring of
farmstays can help people pass the other 2 parts of the test. This is something
the Experience Education guarantees for all of our farmstay participants.
Volunteer is a misleadingly complex word - common sense says that it means a
person who, for no remuneration, offers of their free will, to help at an organiza-
tion. When it comes to Immigration Canada though, volunteer is ill-defined -
because of this, and because of its clash with the common-sense understanding
of the word, there is a lot of confusion about volunteering.
There are two broad types of volunteering that we look at for the post-C30
1. Unstructured, casual volunteering. This is very short term volunteering - things
like volunteering to be a ticket taker at a film festival, to be a wayfinder at the
children’s festival, to help hand out bread at a soup kitchen. This type of volun-
teering isn’t structured, it isn’t regular, the participant doesn’t have a regular work
space or schedule. It is casual. When the government or industry regulators say
that students can do volunteering without a work permit, this is the type of
volunteering they are referring to. It is not the type of volunteering that is condu-
cive to being packaged into a program.
2. Structured, project-based volunteering. This is longer-term volunteering -
things like working on a 6-week research project at the head office of an environ-
mental charity, or spending 12 weeks in the wilderness at a bear rescue centre,
helping with operations. These are scheduled shifts of volunteering, students have
a regular workspace, and duties. This type of volunteering requires a C50 work
permit. If a student comes through the border and says they’re coming to do a
volunteer program, the C50 permit is what Immigration expects to see. In order to
distinguish this type of serious, full-time volunteering from the casual and unstruc-
tured type, EE has branded our volunteer program as ‘Voluntern’.
Type-2 Volunteering (Voluntern) requires the C50-exemption Charity Work Permit.
From Canada’s FW1 ‘Foreign Worker Manual’:
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Canadian interests: Charitable or religious work R205(d), C50
R205(d) LMO exemption applies to charitable or religious workers who
are carrying out duties for a Canadian religious or charitable organiza-
tion [...] A charitable worker is usually taking a fulltime position, and
may be engaging in a competitive activity; an activity which meets the
Please note that the C50 is not part of the International Student Program, and
recent changes to that program have no effect on the C50. The C50 is not a
50:50 visa, no study component is required, meaning that students can study for
any length of time (including no studies), and still be able to take part in a C50
Volunteering is possible, it requires an easily obtainable C50 permit. This permit
must be got before the student comes to Canada - meaning that the placement
must be arranged before the student leaves their home country. When industry
regulators and government talk about volunteering without a permit, they do not
refer to these types of volunteer *programs,* instead they mean casual volunteer-
ing like at a marathon handing out water. If it’s full-time or anything close to it, it
would likely require a work permit.
Career Tours and Observation
Workplace tours have been a less utilised part of work experience programs, but
in many ways they’re one of the more educationally valid forms. In a Career Tour,
a student or a group of students would visit a company, listen to a talk by a
professional at that company, take a tour, ask questions, and then return to class
and write a report.
Some tours, for example those at restaurants, may even involve the students
doing some hands on tasks like helping prepare the meal they are going to eat.
Career tours as described above have never required a permit, and will not in the
foreseeable future. They are a good and stable type of program. Using these as
a starting point, EE has talked with the Temporary Foreign Worker Office in
Montreal and has looked at more expansive forms of workplace observation. We
have received written assurance, that some of these more expansive forms of
observation can be done without a permit.
This confirmation from CIC mirrors language used on their volunteer and work
webpage which describes the conditions required for a student to volunteer visa
Additionally this mirrors information provided to EE in private by the head of CIC’s
International Student Program. In summary: no work permit or study permit
definition of 'work' even though there may be nominal remuneration.
Source: Page 84
… the foreigner that meets scenario one [Career Tours] does not need
a work permit as there will be no production component and no
wages earned thus no competition with Canadian or Permanent
resident jobs opportunities.
Volunteer activities that are not “work” and do not require a work
permit: unremunerated (i.e. unpaid) observation of the functioning of a
given work environment or occupation. In some cases, minor tasks
may be performed (such as clerical chores), however you will not
make a significant contribution to the productivity of the enterprise.
7 / from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
Managing remaining C-30 bookings and
operating old Language Co-Op Programs using
International Experience Canada visas
Even though new bookings for C-30 Language Co-Op Programs end on June 1st, there are still many
students on the books who registered before that date and will receive a visa that will allow them to
participate in co-op program. These remaining C-30 students will continue to arrive over the next 18
months. The question is, how to manage them?
Schools with in-house Language Co-Op Program management may find that as co-op student
numbers decline, these programs may become more expensive to operate. There will be fewer
student fees available to pay for your staff. Schools may also notice that as numbers decrease they
will see a greater attrition in their host company lists, meaning that it will be even more costly and time
consuming to place a student than ever before.
Economies of Scale
Experience Education has 2 dozen partner schools, and through the wind-down of C-30 Language
Co-Op programs, EE will continue to have a significant volume of students. Many of these students
will be Language Co-Op, many more wil be in our career college, International Experience Canada
(IEC), and university programs. The combined numbers of these students allows us to maintain a low
host company attrition rate, and to keep costs as low as possible.
Experience Education places more than a thousand students a year, making it one of the largest
co-op programs in Canada - on par with many major universites. This size creates economies of scale
that in-house co-op programs can’t match.
As C-30 Language Co-Op Programs close and the final students come through, outsourcing
programs to EE will allow schools to take advantage of these economies of scale, raising the quality of
school programs, while at the same time keeping costs low - even as in-house managed programs
The Last of the C-30s
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9 / from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
Continuing Language Co-Op Programs using the International
Experience Canada Program
People tend to think of the Federal Government as a senior or parent level of
government, and the Provincial Governments as junior/child levels of government.
This type of thinking is wrong. The Federal and Provincial Governments share
sovereignty, with the provinces supreme in some areas and the federal govern-
ment supreme in others. For example, the federal government is supreme in
immigration, while the provinces are supreme in education.
It seems like an airy academic point, but what it means for Language Schools is
that the federal government can’t dictate their curriculum. The Feds, can cut off
one type of visa or another - but they can’t tell a school that they can’t run a
co-op program. A province can tell a language school they can’t run a co-op
program, but none have done so as of yet.
This means that the only obstacle to running a Language Co-Op program is
student access to work permits. Previously students had accessed work permits
using the C-30 visa. With that gone, these programs mostly need to close - but
The old Language Co-Op programs can continue to operate to a limited extent
using International Experience Canada (IEC) visas. These 55,000 work permits are
un-connected to studies, and give foreign students from designated countries the
opportunity to work in Canada for between 6 months and 2 years (depending on
the country and IEC type.
If a school has an applicant with an IEC permit, they can join any of the old
Language Co-Op programs with no obstacles whatsoever.
International Experience Canada (C21) Visas for Beginners
IEC visas are a class of visas including: International Co-Op, Career Development,
and Working Holiday. These visas are restricted to the following countries only:
IEC visas are not available year-round. Instead they open between November and
March, depending on the country, and in some cases the quota (even if very
large) is exhausted in a matter of days.
IEC visas are very different from the old C-30’s. Among other things, students
don’t need to study at a Canadian school to qualify for one. Depending on the
IEC visa type, it could be employer specific (meaning the student needs to be
placed before they arrive in Canada - a service Experience Education provides),
or it could be totally open.
Because these visas are open or tied to an employer, self-placement programs
cannot work with them. Instead, all IEC students should be directed into guaran-
teed placement programs such as unpaid internship, and paid casual work.
For more information about the International Experience Canada program,
including visa quotas, opening dates, visa types per country, and age limits,
please visit: http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/index.aspx
Exciting Upcoming Changes to the IEC Program
In 2013, the IEC program moved from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the
Ministry of Immigration. The IEC now appears to be run by the same office that
controls the International Student Program (ISP). The move and the sweeping
changes to the ISP have delayed some exciting upcoming changes to the IEC
program. But Experience Education’s sales office in Paris has been in regular
contact with the Canadian embassy in France and has received word that these
changes are still going ahead - and we have been given an outline of what the
changes will look like.
In the near future, Immigration Canada will create a class of ‘Recognized Organi-
zations’. Currently CIC has 2 Recognized Organizations - SWAP, and Go
International (a company owned by Tamwood College). These Recognized
Organizations have access to an exclusive pool of visas that do not appear to be
open to the general public - in order to access these visas, a student must apply
The Canadian Embassy in Paris has told Experience Education that Recognized
Organization status will be given to companies which send students abroad as
well as receive them. This could mean that Language Schools which have an
international presence and the ability to send Canadians overseas to work and
study, could gain access to an exclusive quota of IEC work permits.
This is still not 100% certain, but has the posibility for creating a very interesting
and exciting opportunity for Language Schools.
LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION /10
Continuing program management for Language Co-Op legacy programs
as well as new post-C-30 experiential education programs
The Experiential Education Experts
Experience Education specializes in the development and management of internship, co-op, practicum,
and experiential education programs. We manage suites of programs for universities, career colleges,
language schools, and International Experience Canada Program participants.
Our company operates from offices in Vancouver, Montreal and New York, and services these cities, as
well as Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Victoria. We have Canada’s largest private team, and are the only
national co-op program organizer, operating in both official langauges.
EE is here for language schools to affordably and ably manage their legacy Language Co-Op Programs, as
well as to offer post C-30 experiential education programs to meet every available visa opening. We have
been a leader in industry regulation and have been working hard for the last 2 years to develop and test
secure programs that can operate outside of CIC’s International Student Program.
In order to serve our language school partners we have created Farmstay, Voluntern, and Career Tour
Programs that schools can access with certainty about the visa requirements, with no administrative
overhead - and that will give their clients a high quality, educationally valid program at a very low cost.
EE Program Options - Post-C30 - Experiential Education Programs
Post C-30 programs are designed to operate after the C-30 visa is closed on June 1st. These are new,
sustainable, reliable programs that schools can operate with certainty that the visas will not close, or not be
limited in any way.
This program gives students the opporunity to work on a farm and experience Canadian nature at its most
real. Students are placed on farms for between 2 and 4 weeks, and receive free room and board in excha-
11 / from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
-nge for between 16 and 30 hours per week of unpaid volunteer help around the
farm. Farmstay is available year round and includes guaranteed placement in BC,
Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, and one way in-province transportation to farmstay.
No work permit required.
Unpaid, internship-style placements for 4-24 weeks at a federally registered charity
in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal. Students work full time on a project, improve
their English in a real social context, and also give back to the community. The
Voluntern is not a 50:50 program, meaning students can volunteer for longer than
they study. C50 work permit required.
Career tours are designed for groups or individuals and can be done outside of
studies, or fully integrated into a class. During a tour, students spend a half day or
full day visiting a company, attending a lecture by a professional at that company
about their career and their industry, and in some cases, even try some hands on
work (or in the case of the Culinary Tour, a gourmet meal). Package tours are
available in arts and culture, business, culinary arts, engineering, nature and
environment, and sports management. Customized tours are also available.
More intensive, ‘recurring’ tours are available for individuals. In these recurring tours,
students will visit the same company for half-day observations, three days per week
for 4 weeks. During these observations they will complete observation tasks and
reports, as well as help out on some light clerical duties.
Career Tours are available in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. No work permit
Language Co-Op (”Legacy”) Programs
These programs were designed with the C-30 in mind. They continue to operate
and to serve students who obtained C-30 permits before the June 1st visa closure,
and students who are coming to Canada on International Experience Canada
Casual Work Experience Program
Guaranteed paid casual job placements in retail or hospitality. Students improve
their English while speaking with their Canadian co-workers. Available to students
with C-30 work permits, or IEC working holiday permits. Students without a visa,
should consider Farmstay.
Guided Self-Placement Program
Students in self-placement are provided with resume preparation assistance,
interview preparation, placement and job search counselling, ongoing monitoring
and troubleshooting support, and C-30 compliance documentation. Available to
students with C-30 work permits, or IEC working holiday permits.
Student Internship Program
Unpaid professional internship in dozens of fields. Students are placed with a host
company for 4 to 24 weeks, depending on the length of studies. They intern
full-time and improve their English by talking with co-workers. Available to students
with C-30 work permits, or IEC working holiday or international co-op permits.
Students without access to these visas should consider Voluntern or Career Tours.
from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION /12
Career Development Program
The CDP is Experience Education’s signature program. In CDP, students are placed
in a stipend-paid professional internship for 20-36 weeks (depending on the length
of their studies). In their paid professional internship, students rapidly improve their
English, while building their resume in one of 6 different fields. Available to students
with a C-30 visa, or International Experience Canada working holiday or international
co-op permit. Students without access to these should consider Voluntern or
Career College and University Programs
While the C30 program has closed for language schools, numerous new program
options have come available for career college and university students. EE has
developed and expanded programs to provide these new students with suitable
work experience opportunities.
Student Practicum Program
Similar to our Language Co-Op student internship program, the SPP places
students in full or part-time unpaid professional practicums connected to their
program of studies. Placements are available in dozens of fields and can be
arranged on very short notice. Career College and university students need a study
permit from a designated school to do their placements during the semester. To do
a full semester, full-time placement, students need a C-30 visa (which continue to
be available for higher ed).
Career Development Practicum Program
Open to students who have completed a previous practicum, the CDPP is a
stipend-paid practicum. This program is the next step after a student has
completed an unpaid practicum. Similar in structure to the SPP, students in the
CDPP take a full semester break to intern in their field of studies, while earning a
small stipend sufficient to cover many of their expenses. Students need a study
permit from a designated school as well as a C-30 visa in order to take part in this
This program is a fully-paid full semester program, placing students in regular entry
level jobs that are connected to their studies. Co-Op differs from CDPP in that it is
paid at minimum wage or above (as opposed to a stipend), but also in that while
CDPP is a structured practicum - meaning students would be doing more senior
work, Co-Op is entry-level and allows students to experience what they would really
do in their first job. Students need a study permit from a designated school as well
as a C-30 visa in order to take part in this program.
Graduate Internship Program
After completing their studies at a career college or university, graduates often have
a difficult time finding their first job. Youth unempoyment is high and many gradu-
ates end up working in service jobs outisde of their fields. The Graduate Internship
Program is for these people. It’s for after they graduate, placing them in a fully-paid
internship - one in their field, that will help them kick start their careers. Unlike other
EE programs where a participation fee is charged to the school, and likely passed
on to the student, in the GIP, all fees are paid by the host company, with no fees
paid by the student.
13 / from LANGUAGE CO-OP to EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
Preparation, monitoring, troubleshooting and support
services for students in all programs
Services Designed to Help Students Succeed
Experience Education has a student services team spread across North America which is dedicated to
providing students with the highest quality of support services.
These services include: placement counselling - helping students set internship and program goals;
resume preparation; one-to-one interview preparation; ongoing reporting and monitoring throughout the
placement; regular site visits during the placement; transparent troubleshooting, and easily
accesssible re-placement procedures.
Experience Education programs have a 90%+ student satisfaction rate (students who rate their programs
as good or excellent) and we work hard to keep these numbers high, and move them higher. We are
student-focused and do our best to see every situation from the student’s point of view.
Photo taken during a student services host company site visit
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It is our hope that this document will help your school get a better understanding
of what types of programs are possible, now that the C-30 visa is closing. A lot of
schools think that this is an industry apocalypse, but an objective view shows that
there are many opportunities for forward-thinking schools.
Our new experiential programs: Farmstay, Voluntern, and Career Tours, are in
many ways, easier to operate than the old C30 programs. While they may be
difficult and expensive to run in-house, Experience Education has the ability to
help you run these programs for as little as $250 per student. This does not mean
that these programs cannot be run in-house - they most certainly can. However
in order to meet the deadline for new 2015 brochures, to get the word out to
worried agents, and to be the first into the new post C-30 market, we believe that
outsourcing these programs to Experience Education is the best option.
The next step in the process if you would like to work with EE is to contact us and
ask us to draft a Service Agreement. Service Agreements give schools pricing,
confict resolution procedures, and program terms and conditions.
EE believes in keeping things as simple as possible - for instance each EE
program has a simple one-step application process with the bare minimum of
documentation required. When it comes to our Service Agreements, we have a
1-day turn around in getting these to you, they’re in plain English, easy to
understand, and will help you get started right away.
EE school partnerships are managed by our company director, Robert Jago.
Robert is based out of our Montreal office and can be reached via email at:
email@example.com or by phone at: 1.877.795.8403 (ext. 703).
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