Co-op at non-co-op schools?

<p>I am seriously considering going to Northeastern for its coop program, but I realize that it is possible to do a coop at a state university that does not focus on it. Is this really a realistic option?</p>

<p>Plenty people at state universities do paid internships. The difference at Northeastern is that these are semester long (+summer) and you are considered a full time student even when you're working full time and NOT taking any classes. The latter is important since student status can affect your housing and health insurance, among other things.</p>

<p>Many state universities DO offer co-op programs that are not mandatory where only a small number of students participate and you can still maintain full-time status etc., so yes, it is definitely a realistic option. I think the primary difference will be that you may need to take more responsibility to figure out the process and make sure you meet the requirements involved before you do a co-op (ie seminars, workshops, finding and meeting with advisers etc) - as opposed to a school that is structured around making the co-op process as easy for its students as possible. </p>

<p>You may also have far fewer job opportunities to choose from. And, you may encounter more difficulties in scheduling courses and it may take longer than 5 yrs to graduate - or will take 5 yrs but you will have done fewer than 3 co-ops and thus will not have gained as much work experience as you could in 5 yrs at NEU (I think students at state universities typically do 1, possibly 2 but probably never 3 co-ops). Finally, because most of your friends probably won't be doing co-ops, you might have second thoughts about doing one altogether...</p>

<p>Co-op actually does not change your "student status" with regards to housing and health insurance. In Mass, all students are required to have their own insurance (ex: from their parents' plans) or insurance through the school. This rule doesn't change when you're on co-op. Also, being on co-op doesn't change any of your housing. You can still get housing on campus just as if you were in classes, and if you are moving off campus and need to get a letter of enrollment to prove you are a student, you still can get one even on co-op.</p>

<p>The main thing I've found that co-op changes (that is different from my friends getting normal internships) is that my taxes go up (because most of their internships are unpaid) and that your schedule doesn't exactly match up with classes (ex: spring co-op starts a week before spring classes).</p>

<p>But for the most part, people rarely do "co-ops" at non-co-op schools, they do "internships". Plenty of people will say there is no difference, and sometimes there really isn't, but most Northeastern students will be very insistent on the difference.</p>