Irish Students’ FAQ


Am I eligible to apply?
You can apply for an IAESTE traineeship provided you are: currently enrolled in a third level institute of higher education as a full time student in the area of Engineering, Science, Information Technology and Architecture. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact the IAESTE office.

Generally placements are for middle to end year students, so first year students should not yet apply.

What will it cost?
The fee for a successfully arranged placement is €200. A deposit of €30 is made at the time of application and a further €170 is required once the employer has confirmed acceptance of your nomination.

Students are expected to pay their own travel costs to the host country and for personal travel insurance. There may also be fees involved in obtaining work permits or visas. Once on placement you will receive a salary sufficient to cover the local cost of living and accommodation. Sufficient funds should be brought to cover the first month’s cost

How do I apply?
Applicants  submit an application form and then send supporting documents (CV, university transcript, cover letter) by email. When we receive your application form and supporting documetns, we will send you a PayPal invoice for the €30 application fee. See the How to… section for further details.

Interviews of all candidates are arranged in February-March each year. Following interview, candidates will be nominated for specific traineeships. At this stage, an employer-specific application must be assembled and sent to IAESTE in the receiving country for employer approval.

What do you look for in a trainee?
IAESTE traineeships are as various as the countries and employers involved. It can mean working independently in a small company in rural Kazakhstan, or co-operating on a huge project with a multinational in New York. Different traineeships call for different skills, and candidates are selected according to the range of factors required. In all cases motivation, commitment and a spirit of adventure are key; trainees should be flexible, adaptable, enthusiastic, and willing to learn about other cultures.

Where are traineeships offered?
Traineeships are offered in Universities, companies and research institutes in over 80 countries worldwide. A full list of IAESTE member countries is available here. Due to the reciprocal nature of the programme, traineeships may not be available in every country every year. However, IAESTE Ireland endeavours to exchange with as wide a range of countries as possible, to ensure more choice for applicants.

When can I start a traineeship?
The majority of traineeships start in June or July. A small number of placements have start dates later in the year, right up to December. Traineeships are not usually available before June.

What kind of work will I do?
The type of work offered varies greatly, but is broadly categorised into:
Research & Development – often laboratory based
Professional – project work requiring specialised knowledge
Working Environment – on-site work often related to the production process
All details of particular traineeships are provided in advance on the ‘Offer form’, which shows the nature, duration, and requirements of the work involved. This form also shows the salary, accommodation and employer details.

Will I be working with other trainees?
Many employers take more than one trainee, so you may well be working with other participants. However, even if you are the only trainee in your workplace you will be able to contact all the other trainees in your area, through the central IAESTE committee.

Do I need a foreign language?
The majority of IAESTE traineeships are offered in English, with no knowledge of another language required. Where a language other than English is required, it will be specified on the Offer form. However, all trainees should be willing to make an effort at learning the local language for social and cultural reasons!

What will I be paid?
All IAESTE traineeships are paid in accordance with the cost of living in the receiving country. Some traineeships may also offer other benefits, such as free accommodation.

Where will I stay?
Accommodation is arranged by IAESTE in the receiving country and will vary according to the circumstances of the traineeship. Many trainees stay in university accommodation during the summer months. Home stays and shared houses are also available. Trainees may arrange their own accommodation as long as this is specified on their application form.

Will I be met on arrival?
Every effort is made to meet trainees as they arrive, but there are times when this is not possible (e.g. if a trainee arrives very late at night, or at a remote location). In this case, the trainee will be given clear instructions on where to proceed after arrival.

Do I need a visa or work permit?
Visas and work permits are generally required only for training outside the EU/EEA. IAESTE in the receiving country will issue specific instructions on how to apply for a work permit, and often acts as ‘sponsor’ of the application. Trainees requiring visas should then contact the necessary Embassy or Consulate to arrange this themselves.

Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. All IAESTE trainees must arrange sufficient personal insurance to cover themselves for any accident or emergency while away. This is a condition of entry to the programme and there are no exceptions.

Are any group activities arranged?
Most countries organise a social programme for their trainees, especially during the summer months. Typically, this would involve weekend trips or group excursions to places of interest, and social events such as dinners, parties or receptions. Many countries also operate group mailing lists, so that trainees can contact each other easily.

What is a typical traineeship like?
Traineeships are as varied as the countries and employers in the programme, so there really is no ‘typical’ traineeship. You can read some past trainees’ accounts of their experiences here.

What if I have to leave my traineeship early?
Trainees should be aware that accepting an offer of traineeship means committing to the agreed duration of training. Employers often assign specific projects to trainees or change work schedules to accommodate them, and accordingly trainees are expected to act in a professional manner. Breaking a traineeship not only inconveniences the employer, but can jeopardise future offers for other students.

In extreme circumstances where a trainee must return to their home country, the Local and National Committees of both the sending and receiving countries must be informed in writing of the reasons necessitating return.

What if I experience problems with my traineeship?
If any aspect of the traineeship is not satisfactory, the trainee should in the first instance contact the National Committees of the sending and receiving countries. If the issue cannot be resolved at National Committee level, trainees should contact the IAESTE Ombudsman to file their complaint. The Ombudsman will investigate the manner and rule in an impartial fashion.

What happens after my traineeship?
The receiving country will issue a Certificate of Traineeship to mark the completion of practical training. IAESTE Ireland will send a ‘Trainee Report form’ to all trainees, to provide their comments and feedback on the traineeship. This helps us to improve the quality of the programme and the traineeships on offer each year. In October/November each year, trainees are invited to present their experiences at the IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year Award. A prize is awarded each year to the student who most effectively demonstrates the new personal and professional skills developed during the programme.

Is there an Alumni Group for former IAESTE trainees?
Yes, there is a worldwide Alumni Network for former IAESTE trainees, employers and academic supporters of the programme. The network is a great way to stay in touch with those you met during your traineeship. The network currently has Now 15237 members in 142 countries worldwide, and we’re always eager for more! To register, go to www.iaeste.org/alumni/.