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International Development Studies Co-op Student Information

About The Program

International Development Studies (IDS) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that explores the nature and impacts of economic and social development in Canada and around the world. The IDS program will equip you with the theoretical understanding and analytical and practical skills needed to bring about positive and inclusive change in the world. As an IDS student, you will gain firsthand knowledge and real world experience for tackling complex development challenges, such as poverty, food insecurity and global climate change and to promote social justice as citizens in careers across the public and private sectors and in civil society organizations.

In the IDS major, you will complete one of four areas of emphasis: Agriculture and Food Security, Environment and Sustainable Development, Development in the Canadian Context, Development in Fragile Contexts. In so doing, you will have the opportunity to specialize in an area of international development that is of particular interest to you.

Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will be able to gain relevant work experience, build professional networks, and develop essential transferable skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided to students, including a job search preparatory course, a personal connection with a Co-op Coordinator to assist you during the employment process, and targeted work term reports to help you develop relevant skills.

Course Sequencing








Acquired Knowledge & Skills


Intercultural communication skills that are effective and appropriate for diverse audiences.


Meaningful engagement with local and international public, private and civil society organizations, as well as with individuals at the community level

 Critical Thinking

Strong analytical, research, and critical thinking skills that can be applied to local and global issues. Comprehensive understanding of complex global and social issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.


Strong leadership, teamwork, accountability, personal organization, and project and time management skills.

Sample Jobs

Research Associate

Utilizing project management, research and communication skills, the student will play a key role in creating an updated agri-products sector profile. The student will assist in the statistical analysis of market data and undertake an examination of industry issues, activities and actions. Activities could include assisting with the preparation of reports about high profile industry issues, helping to identify potential exporters of agricultural, food or beverage products to international buyers, providing a summary description of events that the student has attended, or preparing a synopsis following outreach visits to clients such as private companies or industry associations

Knowledge Management Coordinator

Work with the Knowledge Management & Information Technology team to support projects involving the improvement of the company’s organizational learning, privacy and compliance, and data management. Students will identify and integrate learning and information sharing across offices that respect the organization’s culture and capacity, identify where the organization can optimize internal processes and how these changes could lead to digital transformation, understand organizational thinking and how information is shared, stored, consumed and reused throughout the organization.

Monitoring and Evaluation Intern

Support the health component’s Monitoring & Evaluation team through: Designing, piloting and revising routine gender-sensitive monitoring tools; Providing active support to program studies and evaluations; Participate in data collection and routing follow up of project activities; Support field in routine M&E activities; Work with project staff to create a simple and user friendly database for storing data to become a readily available source of essential project data for reporting, sharing, and use among key stakeholders; Support in collection of qualitative gender analytical information through cases studies/success stories and best practices/lessons learned.

Employer Sectors

  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • MEDA
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

*This shows a sample of recent co-op employers and will vary depending on employer recruitment needs. During a job search, students are encouraged to be actively engaged and are supported in establishing and maintaining their own personal contacts.

Salary Information

Students receive compensation from their employer for co-op work terms. The rate of pay will vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, the student’s program of study, and work term level. For your reference, a Co-operative Education Salary Guide is available on our website, which provides hourly rates (averages and ranges) for each degree program.