Co-op and GEARE FAQ
It is the student’s responsibility to find a co-op position, OPP does not do placements. We have TA’s that can help offer guidance for students to look for positions and you can search the database via the OPP website for job postings and apply directly.
In our experience, housing has been gracious in relieving students of contracts due to co-op being an academic experience. You can let them know of your status and then they will share a timeline to see if there is availability for fall/spring. The email address is email@example.com. There is an also the possibility of finding off campus housing. Our colleague, Ashley Darnell, is an excellent resource and he can be reached via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in a co-op rotation with a company not in our database, please connect us with the hiring manager. We can meet with them, along with the co-op coordinator, to make sure they understand Purdue’s program requirements and get them listed as an employer partner.
Congrats! Your next step is to connect with your co-op coordinator. They will advise you on academic plans and make sure you are on track to complete your discipline specific requirements. You can find the list of Academic Co-op Coordinators on our website at www.opp.purdue.edu.
This is based on your company and the position you are working in; talk to your hiring supervisor in advance to understand the expectations of your role.
We believe in the value of students being paid during co-op rotation. When applying for jobs, you can ask what the pay is for co-op positions. We have found that most students make an average of $3,800 per month while on co-op rotation.
Most students who participate in co-op graduate within five years. Some are able to complete their academics within 4.5 years; this depends on the nature of your academic program as well as your co-op rotations.
This is dependent on the company. Sometimes we see 2-4 students in co-op positions, sometimes with larger companies there may be 50+ students working; this is another great question you can ask during the interview process.
Talk to your hiring supervisor and see if they can offer contact information for other students in co-op positions, or a former student’s information. You can also reach out to students from the Professional Practice Ambassadors org (which you should join) to see if anyone has insight on the area/recommendations.
For students interested in taking courses online, we recommend taking no more than 1, 3-credit course. Working full-time can be a big adjustment; be mindful of time management and talk to your co-op coordinator before registering for any courses.
Being enrolled in a 0-credit co-op course, there are a number of deliverables students will complete to show their progression, reflection and accomplishments during the work session. Students have the opportunity to earn a co-op certificate based on the number of completed work sessions. For more information, connect with your co-op coordinator & check out our Undergraduate Co-op page at www.opp.purdue.edu.
Yes, however, due to CPT and OPT regulations, we recommend that students wait until they have completed their sophomore (second academic) year in order to maximize available work time allowed.
International students can work 20 hours per week for an on-campus job. That does not count as part of the Curricular Practical Training Benefit (CPT). Students can utilize CPT to work off-campus in a full-time internship/co-op related to their academic field of study. If international students participate in co-op, the ISS office can grant them the 12 months of CPT they are allotted. If they decide to only pursue internships, one or two experiences may be approved, but it is unlikely that they will be granted the full 12-month benefit due to internships not being a requirement in their academic program.
Professional Practice Ambassadors (PPA) is a community of co-op students that seek to enhance the awareness and experience of the Co-op program at Purdue. Students can join by attending the PPA callout at the beginning of every semester, more details can be found on social media @purdue_ppa.
In many cases, students perform well in domestic internships and employers invite them to participate in a second internship overseas. Past students recommend starting very early to find an international internship if there is any uncertainty. OPP bundles your resumes periodically and sends them to suitable employers and GEARE corporate sponsors. Therefore, it is important for you to maintain the most up-to-date version of your resume on the OPP database so that we can send employers the best and most accurate information.
We are always happy to welcome new international locations to our program. The success of working abroad largely depends on your current domestic employer; if you are interested in working somewhere not listed, schedule a time to meet with the staff at OPP to discuss your options.
Information about the global design team project can be found on the Global Design Team Project page on our website at www.opp.purdue.edu. Typically, GEARE students in Mechanical Engineering enroll in a special GEARE division of the ME 463 capstone design course.
Internships abroad may be compensated at rates that are very different from what we are used to in the U.S. Sometimes they may be unpaid, but companies might be able to support housing, transportation, etc. This will greatly vary based on the location and company.
Yes. Through working with your advisor and GEARE coordinator, you should be able to align the courses in your study abroad with your existing plan of study. All our GEARE study abroad partners offer equivalent Engineering courses that are transferable in each discipline; for questions regarding course equivalency, please contact your advisor and GEARE coordinator. GEARE coordinators can be found at www.opp.purdue.edu in the “about us” section.
In many cases, employers offer information on housing. Some students find apartments through local craigslist ads, www.airbnb.com, etc. Past students recommend living with non-American students while overseas.
For students interested in taking courses online while working or studying abroad, we recommend taking no more than 1, 3-credit course. Working full-time and adapting to a new country can be a big adjustment; be mindful of time management and talk to your GEARE coordinator before registering for any Purdue courses.
Join the GEARE Ambassadors group or stop by the OPP office.
GEARE is a cost neutral program; this means that you will pay regular tuition during your study abroad semester, just like you would at Purdue. Because you will be taking Engineering courses abroad, this semester will count towards your graduation, just as if you were on campus at Purdue. There are no additional fees to participate in study abroad or GEARE, however, the cost of travel, housing and living abroad are your responsibility. This varies based on location.
Absolutely, though it will take some careful planning. Co-op students have to meet with their GEARE coordinator to organize their plan of study.
Typically, students apply for a student visa, but some employers may wish for you to have a work permit for liability reasons. You can refer your employers to OPP for more information.
Consult with your respective GEARE coordinators on this issue, as different schools have different rules.
In your 5th semester, you enroll in a 1-credit hour GEARE seminar taught by the Office of Professional Practice. This class will prepare you for your time abroad, including ensuring that you get all documents ready, including visa and housing.
Co-sponsored programs are provided by “third party program providers”, which offer a package price on housing, meals, and tuition. It may be cheaper for out-of-state students to opt for co-sponsored programs. However, the transfer of credits and grades may not be direct. GEARE students should always consider DIRECT EXCHANGE programs first.
Most scholarships are transferable provided students maintain full-time status while overseas (12 credit hours). For detailed information, please consult the Division of Financial Aid.
Absolutely! Your domestic experience can be either work or research based.