IAESTE work placements

What’s it all about?

What are you doing this summer? Getting a job? Travelling? Doing work experience to enhance your CV? With a paid industry placement organised by IAESTE, you could be doing all three, getting a foot in the door and a head start on your career.

The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience may be a bit of a mouthful (IAESTE is pronounced I-ES-TE) but it was set up in January 1948 with ten founding countries. In the years since it’s helped more than 350,000 students gain valuable work experience in more than 80 countries. You could be the next one. 

Where can I go?

Although it was founded by only a handful of European countries, IAESTE has grown massively and now has partnerships with 86 countries around the world. What you are studying will dictate the exact opportunities that are available to you, but with contacts everywhere from Bolivia to Belgium, Tanzania to Thailand, you’re bound to find something to suit you.

See the full list here.

How long does it last?

Internships can last between 6 weeks and a whole year, depending on your personal circumstances and where you’re going. 

What does it cost?

The good news is that this isn’t some unpaid internship where you have to sacrifice your own money for the benefit of something to put on your CV. You will be paid, but you’ll also have to factor in some of your own money.

IAESTE will generally make sure you receive enough money to cover food, accommodation and local travel, although the precise amount varies from country to country.

You will have to cover your own travel to the country of your choice, plus any insurances and visas. Most sending countries also require you to pay a placement fee, which is determined by the individual members and co-operating institutions.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

In a word, no. You are only required to speak good English, but any foreign languages will help your application.

Can I apply?

The basic qualifications for applying to IAESTE are:

  • you must be aged between 19-30
  • you must be a full-time student in Higher Education
  • your subject must be within the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture or Applied Arts

See a full list of eligibility criteria here.

Speaking a foreign language is an advantage, but not essential.

When’s the deadline?

Applications for the IAESTE program are now closed. Sign up for our newsletter to be informed of other work abroad opportunities.

You can also keep up-to-date with them on Facebook and Twitter.

What will I gain from this?

“Transform your future and kickstart your career with a paid industry traineeship abroad.” Those aren’t our words – they’re taken from the IAESTE website, but we’d have to agree with them. As opportunities go then this is really one to grab with both hands – you get experience, you get paid, you get to travel, you get to boost your confidence, learn news skills and understand a new culture. It’s all there for the taking.

What they say

“I had an amazing time in India; it was both instructive and interesting. I also met many fantastic people from IAESTE India and they helped me a lot to make my stay there very easy and comfortable. I lived with five other students (from Switzerland, Mongolia, Oman and two from Germany) in the same flat, part of a group of about 60 students from all over the world. I really enjoyed these two months in India, it was a great experience for me.” 

– Mohammad Abu-Abiah, IAESTE trainee 2012

If you’re interested in this opportunity you’ll probably want to do a little more research. Here are a few useful starting points for you.