Woman writing on a board with the word 'upcoming' superimposed
'Working abroad teaches you independence and cultural awareness.' Photo ©

Mat Wright

Applications will open again in the autumn of 2018

Are you a science, engineering, technology or applied arts undergraduate student at a UK institution? 

You could do a paid industry traineeship lasting from six to 52 weeks in one of 80 countries with IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience).

From electronics in Japan, to earthquake detection technology in Colombia, an IAESTE traineeship is a guaranteed way to boost your career. 

It’s also a hassle-free way to experience life abroad. You’ll be supported by the IAESTE team every step of the way: from choosing an employer and applying for visas, to finding accommodation and settling into your new country.

Am I eligible?

To go on an IAESTE placement, you must be:

  • over the age of 19
  • a full-time undergraduate student of science, engineering, technology or applied arts
  • in the second year of study or above 
  • enrolled in a UK university.

You are not eligible if you are:

  • in your first year of study
  • studying an independent Masters degree (a one or two year course.)

If you are a student applying from the UK, you also must be a UK resident. You are considered a UK resident if you are:

You are not considered a UK resident if you are in the UK on a student visa. Overseas students must visit the IAESTE global site for instructions on how to apply from their home country.

Do I need any foreign language skills?

English is the standard language requirement. Other languages are usually optional but will be specified on the job offer if required.

What subject areas do IAESTE placements cover?

You can apply for any placement that is relevant to your studies. We understand that there is often an overlap between subjects within the job offers.

Placements are available in the following subject areas (areas followed by an asterisk can be rare):

  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Agriculture*
  • Anatomy*
  • Applied Arts
  • Architectural Studies
  • Architecture
  • Astrophysics
  • Audio technology with multimedia /Audio Engineering*
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Avionics
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering*
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Biophysics*
  • Biosciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Brewing*
  • Building Surveying*
  • Business Information Systems*
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce
  • Computer Animation*
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Games 
  • Technology/Design
  • Computer Science
  • Construction management and surveying*
  • Dairying*
  • Design & Communications*
  • Digital media*
  • Ecology
  • Economics*
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Fire Safety
  • Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition*
  • Food Technology *
  • Forensic and crime scene investigation/Forensic Anthropology
  • Forestry*
  • Geodesy
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Horticulture
  • Hotel Management*
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Material Science
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Media Studies*
  • Medical Engineering*
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Metallurgy
  • Microbiology
  • Mining
  • Naval Engineering
  • Neuroscience*
  • Nutrition*
  • Optometry*
  • Parasitology*
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Studies
  • Physics
  • Plant Science
  • Power Engineering
  • Process Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Prosthetics *
  • Quantity Surveying*
  • River & Coastal 
  • Engineering *
  • Rural Surveying *
  • Statistics
  • Structural Engineering
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Zoology

We do not have placements in the following areas:

  • Chiropody
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Physiology
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Sports Science  

How do I apply?

We will make available a link to an application portal, once applications open in the autumn of 2018. Please wait until then before trying to apply.

To complete your application, you will need to make a payment for £10 (plus VAT) via our online payment system on the final tab. We cannot accept offline payments.

How much will it cost?

The cost for you will be:

  • £10 (plus VAT) application fee
  • £200 (plus VAT) fee to IAESTE, payable only when you have been successfully matched to a placement and you are happy to continue with your application
  • flights/travel to and from the country
  • any visa or vaccination costs
  • additional spending money.

You will earn a salary while you are on your placement, and this should cover all your accommodation and living costs.

What funding is available?

On top of the IAESTE salary, you can apply for separate funding from these two programmes:


Erasmus+ students carrying out a placement in the EU may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant to help cover travel and subsistence costs (including insurance and visa costs). Make sure your placement matches with the Erasmus+ aims and objectives before applying.

Please ask your university Erasmus+ representative if they offer this mobility grant to IAESTE students, and any other questions about Erasmus+.

FISITA student travel bursary

If you are an engineering student and you are nominated for a work placement in the automotive industry, you can apply for a FISITA student travel bursary and receive up to €2,000.

FISITA considers applications twice a year. Deadlines are as follows:

  • April – October placements: 31 March
  • November – April placements: 31 October.

If you have any questions about the bursary, please contact FISITA directly.

What happens after I apply?


We will share a catalogue of available international placements with all applicants who registered their interest with us. You will be asked to submit up to three placement preferences.

We will ask for further supporting documents and assess candidates to decide who we will nominate for each job.


You will find out if you have been successfully matched to any of your placement preferences.

If you are matched successfully, you will receive details about the placement and a request for the following documents:

1. An up-to-date CV

2. University transcript

3. University certificate or letter of enrolment

If you are not happy with the placement, you will be placed on the reserve list for future offers.

IAESTE UK will request additional documents for nomination:

  • the £200 (plus VAT) placement fee, payable to IAESTE UK
  • a completed nomination form
  • a cover letter to the placement employer
  • a scanned copy of the front outer cover of your passport along with the picture page. If you are in the process of renewing your passport, include a photocopy of the old passport with your application.
  • Up-to-date CV
  • Official certificate of enrollment, obtained from your university admin deparment
  • Official transcript of all modules completed on your course

If you are a non-UK national, you will also need:

IAESTE UK will send your completed nomination form to the IAESTE office in the host country, where they will liaise with the employer and make the final decision. You will be told as soon as possible if you have been accepted by the employer. Sometimes, employers are delayed in responding and could take until early summer before notifying the local IAESTE office.

For those who do not find placements during this stage, there will be plenty more opportunities offered by IAESTE through late offers. All applicants who choose to stay on our shortlist will be notified of any offers published in their field, and will be able to put in an application for the employer to consider.

April to June

You will be informed of final acceptance as soon as IAESTE UK receive confirmation from the international employer. At this point, you will be able to arrange your travel, insurance and visas etc.

IAESTE in your host country will inform you of accommodation details once you have confirmed your travel arrangements to IAESTE UK.

We will give you contact details of your employer before you start. If you have any questions about the type of work you’ll be doing, please don’t contact them until we confirm it’s OK. Contact us instead at iaeste@britishcouncil.org.

Before you go

Pre-departure briefings in the UK will give you the chance to get to know other participants who are going overseas. You will also meet students who have taken part in IAESTE before and will have the chance to ask them questions. 

June onwards

Go on your placement – and enjoy it.

Once you have accepted the nomination, you have committed to the placement, so please don’t pursue other opportunities. If something rare happens and you are rejected or the placement is withdrawn for any reason, IAESTE UK will do its best to find you an alternative.

While you are on your placement

Your host country will put you in touch with their local IAESTE student committee who will welcome you to their country and help you get settled. Through this network you will be able to meet other students on placement in the area.  

If you face any problems during your placement, the host IAESTE committee in country is your first point of contact. IAESTE UK staff at the British Council are also here to support you with problems that can’t be resolved locally. You can find us through the contact details below.

Who do I contact if I have a question?

You can email the team on iaeste@britishcouncil.org or call our customer contact centre on +44 (0)161 957 7755.

What happens after the placement?

Fresh from your experience, you could join your local student committee to help future trainees. 

This means you can:

  • help and support other students and make new friends
  • make contacts in companies through networking, which could come in handy when you graduate
  • get involved in international events and do more travelling as you visit IAESTE local committees overseas
  • put it on your CV – another way to improve your career prospects.

Join the IAESTE alumni network

Current and former trainees and employers share their experience through the IAESTE alumni network.

You can network professionally and socially, whether advertising a job in your company, reminiscing about experiences, or seeking a new international contact.

Each IAESTE country has their own area, so you can easily find information and people relevant to you. Areas can also be created for industries, so that knowledge can be shared across professional fields. There’s also space for social groups, managed by IAESTE alumni for IAESTE alumni. 

IAESTE for students outside the UK

Students outside the UK can do traineeships in the UK, but will need to apply via the IAESTE office in their home country.

If you have already been accepted to do a traineeship in the UK, you can find information before you arrive in the UK.

IAESTE for employers and universities

If you are an employer, find out how to recruit an IAESTE trainee.

Institutions who want to encourage their students to take up an IAESTE traineeship can find support to promote the programme.

Back to Study and work abroad.