What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential Learning (EL) is, broadly, learning through reflection on experience. 

Experiential Learning encompasses a variety of programming types that give students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and develop crucial skills, such as: work-integrated learning (WIL), co-op, internship, field experience, practicum, community engaged learning, study abroad, or (in some cases) co-curricular programming.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

The Indigenous Student Internship Program (ISIP) is a four-month paid internship program for self-identified Indigenous USask students. For more information, contact Delanie Adams-Beavereye, Indigenous Experiential Learning Coordinator at Career Services. 

Empowering Canadian Youth for the Jobs of Tomorrow

The RBC Learn to Work, Work to Learn program equips students with the self-awareness, knowledge, and skills needed to be successful in their careers. With a primary focus on identifying and building career readiness skills students have opportunities to participate in experiential learning initiatives, industry panels, mentorship programs, and various workshops that ultimately improve their employability.

Contact program lead Brette Kristoff for more information.   


Level Up brings real projects from organizations into Universities. Get immersed in industry projects and get equipped with work-ready skills. LEVEL UP your resume by completing short-term, 80 hour projects over two to eight weeks from organizations and get paid $1,400 to do it! Show future employers you have the real skills they need.

Community Engaged Projects provide USask students with a structured project-based learning experience. These partnerships are driven by employer and community partner priorities that provide reciprocal benefits to both partners and students. Students can engage with employers in a 30-hour, impactful project where they will develop their core competencies. While completing these projects students have opportunities to reflect, share, and act on their core competencies, receive a bursary, and CCR recognition.  

Community Engaged Projects are partially or fully funded depending on the nature of the partnership. 

Contact program lead Tenneisha Nelson for more information and to be added to the mailing list on upcoming projects.  

FUSION Skill-Development is an interactive and engaging 10-hour online, self-study curriculum designed to wraparound and complement your existing experiential learning opportunity, and help you enhance your skills across critical 21st century skill domains.

Employers like to see candidates who are well-rounded and take the initiative to participate in their communities. Volunteering and community involvement are rewarding ways to gain valuable experience, develop important skills and build your professional network. Engaging in professional development opportunities, like workshops or non-credit courses, gives you the opportunity to learn outside of your academic program.

Use CareerLink to search for volunteer opportunities and subscribe to have new postings emailed to you. Check PAWS for more volunteer opportunities. Many groups on campus post PAWS bulletins when looking for volunteers.

A number of organizations coordinate experiential learning opportunities such as internships, exchanges and leaderhip programs all over the world and in a range of industries. If you are interested in interning with a certain employer, be sure to check out the careers/opportunities section of their website as many have internship experiences. Also see Volunteering, Study Abroad and International Job Links.

Please note, the University of Saskatchewan is not affiliated with any of the organizations noted above and offers this list simply to provide other options for students to explore, not as an endorsement. Programs vary considerably so be sure to research each thoroughly and inquire about such details as application fees, location, stipends/honorariums, requirements, accommodations, flights, health insurance, work visas, contract lengths, etc.

Finding an Experiential Learning (EL) Course

Many programs have EL built in, such as field experiences, labs, or project-based work. Here's how to find these classes:

  1. Visit the Registration page in PAWS and select "Register for Classes"
  2. Select "Browse classes"
  3. Select the term
  4. Select the subject(s) in which you are interested
  5. Select "Advanced Search"
  6. Under Attribute, select "experiential learning" or a specific type of experiential learning: community engaged learning, clinical placement/practicum, field-based instruction, study abroad or undergraduate research.
  7. Select "Search"
  8. The results are classes with an experiential learning component. Read the course description for more information.


Can’t find an opportunity? Meet with an Academic Advisor.

What is Work-Integrated Learning?

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is a form of curricular experiential education that formally integrates a student’s academic studies with quality experiences within a workplace or practice setting (CEWIL). 

Learn more about the different types of WIL and find opportunities in your

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Definitions

(Co-op alternating and co-op internship models): Co-op alternating consists of alternating academic terms and paid work terms. Co-op internship consists of several co-op work terms back-to-back. In both models, work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study. The number of required work terms varies by program; however, the time spent in work terms must be at least 30% of the time spent in academic study for programs over 2 years in length and 25% of time for programs 2 years and shorter in length. 

Offers usually one discipline-specific, supervised, structured paid or unpaid, and for academic credit work experience or practice placement. Internships may occur in the middle of an academic program or after all academic coursework has been completed and prior to graduation. Internships can be of any length but are typically 12 to 16 months long.

Involves work experience under the supervision of an experienced registered or licensed professional (e.g. preceptor) in any discipline that requires practice-based work experience for professional licensure or certification. Practica are generally unpaid and, as the work is done in a supervised setting, typically students do not have their own workload/caseload.

Provides students with an intensive part-time/short term intensive hands-on practical experience in a setting relevant to their subject of study. Field placements may not require supervision of a registered or licensed professional and the completed work experience hours are not required for professional certification. Field placements account for work-integrated educational experiences not encompassed by other forms, such as co-op, clinic, practicum, and internship.

Students are engaged in research that occurs primarily in workplaces, includes: consulting projects, design projects, community-based research projects.

Community Service Learning (CSL) integrates meaningful community service with classroom instruction and critical reflection to enrich the learning experience and strengthen communities. In practice, students work in partnership with a community-based organization to apply their disciplinary knowledge to a challenge identified by the community.

Intersperses one or two work terms (typically full-time) into an academic program, where work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study and/or career goals.

USask Work-Integrated Learning

PCP Practicum/Clinical Placement
CSL Community Service Learning
WE Work Experience
FE Field Experience
RE Research Experience
CO-OP Co-op
INTERN Internship
EL Experiential Learning

  • Experiential Learning is integrated throughout the Undergraduate MD Program. To learn more visit the program website.

  • Experiential Learning is integrated throughout the undergraduate Nursing program. To learn more visit the College of Nursing website.

Co-curricular Experiential Learning

The FUSION Skill-Development Curriculum is an interactive and engaging 10-hour online, self-study curriculum designed to wraparound and complement a student’s existing experiential learning opportunity (e.g. internship, student leadership role, research project, part-time job, volunteer placement, or summer work term).

Learn more about FUSION

Log in to the Co-curricular Record website to search for university recognized activities that provide you an opportunity to gain experience and develop skills while getting involved on campus.

Funding For Work-Integrated Learning

Funding opportunities exist through many organizations for Work-Integrated Learning. Students or employers may apply for funds to pay for all or part of a student's salary.

  • SWPP
    • Through the Student Work Placement program, employers can apply for wage subsidies to help them hire post-secondary students across Canada.

Mitacs BSI