Man in a science lab wearing safety glasses and a lab coat holding science equipment.
A Queen's University Belfast chemical engineering student on a summer internship at the Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Japan.  ©

David Chambers

Registration is now closed for 2021 placements.

Are you a science, engineering, technology or applied arts student at a higher education institution in Scotland or Northern Ireland?

From electronics in Japan to earthquake detection technology in Colombia, an IAESTE placement 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 apply for an IAESTE placement, you must be:

  • aged 19 or over
  • enrolled at any higher education institution in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • studying science, engineering, technology or applied arts
  • in the second year of your undergraduate degree or above, including any year of your MSc or PhD.

Students of any nationality are welcome to apply. 

If you aren't eligible, please take a look at our other opportunities to study, train or work abroad.

What documents will I need?

  • Tutor recommendation (template available at the bottom of this page)
  • University letter of enrolment (available from student registry office)
  • University transcript (downloaded unofficial version, stamped by the university)

Do I need any foreign language skills?

English is the standard language requirement. Other languages are usually optional but will be specified on the placement details 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 and 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*
  • Medicine
  • 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 *
  • Psychology
  • Quantity Surveying*
  • River and Coastal 
  • Engineering *
  • Rural Surveying *
  • Statistics
  • Structural Engineering
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Zoology

We do not have placements in the following areas:

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

What's the timeline for applications?

October to December

Attendance at university careers fairs and information sessions.


Online events and workshops.

CVs, transcripts and nomination pack explained.

February to March

Offers available and nominations submitted for placements.

April to May

Successful students notified.

Many late offers available.

June onwards

Go on your placement – and enjoy it!

How much will it cost?

The cost for you will be:

  • £10 (plus VAT) for registration.
  • £200 (plus VAT) placement fee.
  • For Round One offers – the placement fee is payable when the offer is assigned to you. You will be the only applicant in the world. It is refundable in the unlikely event that you are rejected by the employer.
  • For Round Two offers – When you apply for a placement and sign the Nomination Form, we consider this your formal commitment to paying the placement fee, if accepted by the employer. The fee is payable after you have been accepted by the employer.
  • In the event that borders are closed or a travel advisory is in place due to Covid-19, the placement fee will be refunded.
  • The placement fee is non-refundable if you are withdrawing from the programme post acceptance by the employer due to other opportunities offered or change of mind.
  • Flights/travel to and from the country.
  • Any visa or vaccination costs.
  • Additional spending money.

You will earn a stipend while you are on your placement, and this should cover all your accommodation and living costs. In some cases, your university may provide funds to cover some of the costs associated with an IAESTE placement. Be sure to contact your university guidance centre to see if this is the case.

What funding is available?

On top of the IAESTE salary, you can apply for separate funding:

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 support will I get while I am on 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. Please use the contact details towards the end of this page.

What happens after the placement?

Fresh from your experience, you could join your local student committee and:

  • 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 a group of students called the Local Committee (LC) who have been on placement or wish to go on placement, and can offer advice and support you through your application process. They meet regularly for social activities and you can contact them via their Facebook page. New members are always welcome!

Can I go on more than one placement?

You can accept two or more placements, so long as the placement periods don’t overlap.

Why is IAESTE only for students in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

The IAESTE programme is supported and funded in Northern Ireland by the Department for the Economy. In Scotland, IAESTE is funded by the Scottish Government. 

Students enrolled in higher education institutions in Scotland and Northern Ireland are therefore eligible to participate in IAESTE.

The IAESTE programme does not currently receive any support or funding in England or Wales. Students enrolled at higher education institutions in these countries are therefore not eligible to participate in IAESTE. Students from England and Wales, can however, apply for currently available internships through IAESTE Global, under special arrangement. 

Our response to Covid-19

We are working hard to deliver as many of our activities as we can while listening and responding to the relevant government and health authority guidance in the countries we operate.

The health and wellbeing of our students, colleagues and partners is our priority during this rapidly evolving situation.

It is our hope to resume placements in the Summer of 2021 depending on Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice that it is safe to travel. We continue to support current participants and are in direct contact with them.

Contact details

If you have a question that isn't answered above, email or call our customer contact centre on +44 (0)161 957 7755.

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.

We are monitoring the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union process closely, however the outcome of this will depend on the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

We would like to offer our reassurance that both the British Council and our overseas partners both in Europe and worldwide remain committed to the programme. The IAESTE programme is not reliant on EU funding to function and as such any potential impact of the UK leaving the EU would be at an individual participant level in terms of visas, health insurance etc. rather than at a programme level. 

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 outside the UK.

Last updated: 25/02/2021