Can I apply for an internship through IAESTE Belgium?
No, unfortunately we cannot help you with that. We can suggest the following:
- Get in touch with you Local IAESTE Committee in your home country, maybe they have an offer available in a Belgian company.
- Contact Belgian companies yourself and try to get an internship that way. You can then suggest to the company to arrange the internship through IAESTE. This will make administration (for both you and the company) easier, but the company will have to pay a fee to IAESTE Belgium (€650, in some cases €100).
Only students enrolled at an IAESTE member university can apply for an IAESTE internship. Unfortunately, we are currently not active in any other Belgian universities. Should you (and maybe a couple of friends) be interested in making your university an IAESTE member university, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Our partner universties in Belgium are Ghent University, VUB/ULB and KULeuven.
Unfortunately, you can’t. The best way for you to get an IAESTE internship is to check with the Local IAESTE Committee in your home country.
If you are enrolled for a complete masters degree in one of the IAESTE member universities, you can apply for an IAESTE internship though IAESTE Belgium.
Yes, you can, as long as the receiving country doesn’t require you to be enrolled at a university for the complete period of your internship. You can find a list of countries for which this applies here. In all other cases, you should apply for the internship while you are still enrolled at the university.
No, all students with a science and/or technical background can apply! This includes engineers, bio-engineers, biologists, physici, mathematicians, chemists, computer scientists… as long as they are enrolled at one of the Belgian IAESTE member universities. We will be honest though: we are indeed most active within the engineering faculties, and most internships we provide are therefore also aimed at engineering students. However, if you are a non-engineering student and you wish to go on an IAESTE internship, then please fill out the IAESTE Wish List (if its in the appropriate period of the year, i.e. between October and December) or check out the internships on the Exchange Platform. Instructions how to do can be found on the application page. You can also contact us for more information. Who knows, you might be that one IAESTE pioneer that your study needs!
In the annual procedure, you can apply for more than one internship (see this page). Note that you will only be selected and nominated for at most one internship!
In the year-round procedure, there is one general rule: you cannot be nominated for more than one internship at the same, unless the periods of work don’t overlap. In general, this means that you can only apply for one internship, as applying through the year-round procedure almost certainly leads to nomination. This also applies to internships through the annual procedure: if you’re already nominated for such an internship, you cannot apply for another internship through the year-round procedure anymore, unless the periods of work don’t overlap.
If you do apply and are nominated for multiple internships (with non-overlapping work periods), we assume that you commit to carrying out all these internships if you get accepted by the involved companies: you cannot refuse or cancel a nomination because you got accepted for your another one already, you have to carry out both!
I don't find an internship that matches my field of study!
If there are no internships in your field of study at this moment, then we unfortunately haven’t been able to exchange an internship in your field of study at our Annual Conference. We suggest that you take a look at the internships offered through our year-round procedure. Also make sure that you fill out the Wish List next year to increase the likelihood that we will find an internship that matches your field of study. More info about our application procedures can be found here.
If there are no internships in your field of study at this moment, then that is simply because no companies within your field of study are currently offering an internship position. However, the list on the Exchange Platform is continuously updated, so it is possible that internships that are relevant for you will appear on our platform in the future. Keep an eye on the platform to see if that is the case!
The IAESTE Wish List is a form that you can fill in between October and December every year to indicate what type of internship you would be interested in (i.e. what field of study, for how long, in which countries, …). We use the results from the Wish List to estimate the demand and better adapt our internship offers to your needs.
Note that this does not mean that we will try to find an internship that exactly matches your personal needs, as this is almost impossible to do. The IAESTE internships that we offer through our yearly procedure are “exchanged” with other countries at an international conference that takes place in January. We can only exchange a limited amount of offers, so we have to make sure that these are as relevant as possible to as many students as possible. However, filling in the Wish List increases the likelihood that we exchange an internship in your field of study!
No, filling in the IAESTE Wish List doesn’t guarantee anything. It remains very important for you to fill it out though, as it helps us a lot to estimate the demand of internships and what internships we should look out for.
No, filling in the IAESTE Wish List is not binding in any way. So go ahead and fill it out, as it helps us a lot in estimating the demand for what internships we need to look for.
Yes, filling in the Wish List is not a requirement to apply for an internship.
The internship description is not clear to me?
NO! It is strictly forbidden to contact the employer mentioned on an IAESTE offer before you are officially accepted by the company. There are several reasons for this, one being the function of IAESTE in the whole process. Our job is to ensure that the workload of finding a good candidate for an internship is limited for the companies we work with. It doesn’t really help if everyone starts contacting them, right? If we find out that you tried to contact IAESTE employers in the context of an IAESTE internship in any way before being accepted for your internship position, you will be excluded from the nomination procedure.
They are strict. During the initial application, you should make sure that you apply for a period that is within the mentioned dates. This means that you guarantee us that you can go during those dates and for at least the minimum period required for the internship.
If you are selected for an internship and if you later get accepted by the company, then (and only then!) it is possible to ask the company if they are more flexible and could shift the work period a bit. Note that even though small shifts (of a few days) are typically tolerated, larger shifts (e.g. a few weeks) are much more difficult.
Questions about the application procedure.
A broad question, but still one we get very often. There are some important things to consider:
- It’s a letter, so write it as one! Provide contact details in the upper right corner, possibly the logo of your university in the upper left corner, start with ‘Dear…’, end with ‘Sincerely, …’
- Convince us (and after your nomination, the employer) why you are so motivated for this internship: why are you the perfect match, why is this your dream internship, is it the perfect cross-over of your studies and another field of interest, are you super interested in the culture of that one country…? Tell us about it!
- Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear, write about your true motivation! Sincerity goes a long way.
- Be enthousiastic but polite, write in correct, professional English.
- Very very obvious, but we get them every year: write in English! Don’t be that person applying for an international internship with a Dutch motivation letter. You might be able to go to the Netherlands.
As a more practical piece of information: we expect a motivation letter for every internship you apply for. If you apply for 3 internships, that means 3 (preferably at least a bit different) motivation letters.
The slides used during the CV & Motivation Letter event can be found here.
For Ghent University: Go to oasis.ugent.be and make sure the website is in English. Select the current academic year in the left column. Your curriculum details will appear. Select your current curriculum and hit the ‘print transcript of records’ button. Done!
All courses that you will have taken (not necessarily succeeded) before you start your internship. This includes Bachelor courses if you’re in your Master’s!
This is a very hard question to answer. We always try to take into account the order of preference you gave as much as possible. This means that we will be inclined to give you a slight advantage for an offer you have at 1st or 2nd place, because we assume that you’re most motivated for your first choice, a little less (but still a lot of course!) for your second choice etc.
One of the largest consequences of this is in case you are applying for a very popular internship (10 or more applicants). In that case, IAESTE Belgium needs to make a first selection of applicants to take into consideration. If 15 people apply, of which two have this internship ranked last in their list, they will most likely be the first ones to drop out througout the selection procedure. The key is to apply for the internship that matches best with your capabilities, and to convince us that you are the right person for the job.
IMPORTANT: We do assume that you are motivated for all the offers you apply for, even if they rank 3rd in your preference list. This means that, should you be selected for your 3rd choice for example, we still expect you to go on that internship, considering that you applied for it. Please don’t apply for an offer just to have a back-up if you’re not really sure you want to go. This messes up our nomination procedure and does not do any good to anyone.
We evaluate and select candidates as objectively as possible, based on (and only on) their CV, motivation letter and transcript of records. The nomination decision is taken by representatives from all Belgian Local Committees (Ghent, Brussels and Leuven). Even if you are (a close friend of) an IAESTE member, if you’re not a suitable candidate, the representatives from the others Committees will not let you pass. So no, knowing or being an IAESTE member, or being a friend of one does not increase your chances of getting an internship.
The answer to this question is different depending on the application procedure.
Annual procedure: Statistically speaking, your chances are somewhere between 40 to 50%: between 150 and 200 students apply every year for approximately 80 internships. However, you will see that your chance of getting nominated highly depends on how many other people are applying for the same internship(s) as you: if you apply for only one Chemical Engineering internship in Japan which has 18 other applicants, your chances are obviously quite a bit lower.
Year-round procedure: The offers that appear on the international Exchange Platform are filled on a FCFS basis. This means that, if you apply for an internship that interests you, and we think your Motivation Package is good enough, you are automatically nominated for the internship!
First, your application should be selected by us for nomination. Read the answer to the question above to learn more about that.
Questions about the nomination procedure.
Read more on our cancellation policy here. If you want to cancel your position, please let us know about this as soon as possible! If it’s not too late, we might find another candidate that is interested in the internship to fill your place.
If you haven’t signed the agreement with the employer yet, you can still get out. However, if you already accepted the internship position, you will still lose the administration fee and deposit. If you have signed the agreement (=a work contract), then the employer is counting on you to execute the job he/she has for you, so then there’s no way back.
This is explained on our nomination procedure page.
Unfortunately it is hard to predict when this will be. The first confirmations come in around mid-April, and sometimes it takes until May or even mid-June before you get a reply.
By the end of March, the IAESTE Committee in the country of destination will have received your Nomination Package from us. They then send it to the employer, who can accept your application or reject it. They inform the local IAESTE Committee, that communicates the decision to us, and we communicate it to you. As you can see, there are several steps and each step takes time, especially the decision by the employer.
Should you be really concerned about your application, you can always send us a mail, and we can check with the committee abroad if they have an update.
We will communicate that to you through the Exchange Platform and by email.
We will send you an email with the unfortunate news that you were rejected, and include the reason for that, if that information was communicated to us. Should this not be the case and you’re still interested in knowing why you didn’t get the job, feel free to ask us for more information. We will then inquire about a more specific reason let you know as soon as we get that information.
Once you’ve been assigned to the internship you’ve been nominated for, on the Exchange Platform under ‘Offers’, ‘assigned’ then click the ‘pdf’ button.
Questions about your internship.
There’s two options here: either you get an allowance/expense fee from your employer, or you get a proper wage. You can tell the difference by looking at the Offer Form of your internship: If the ‘salary deduction’ is not 0, that means you will be paying taxes in your country abroad, and are getting paid a wage.
- In case of allowance/expense fee, you don’t need to worry: this is not a taxable income, so it will have no effect on your ‘working days’ or on your parents’ child allowance.
- If you’re getting a wage, it depends on the country of your internship (within or outside of the European Union). We will try to provide some more information about that soon. In the meantime, consult the websites of the official institutions responsible for these matters.
This of course depends on your university and what you are studying:
- Ghent University:
- Engineering and Architecture (burgerlijk ingenieur en ingenieur architect)
You can get 3 credits for an internship of 4 weeks; for an internship of 6 weeks or more, you can get 6 credits. More information on what this means concerning practical arrangements can be found here (English) and here (Dutch).
- Engineering and Architecture: Engineering Sciences (industrieel ingenieur)
An internship of minimum 4 weeks is worth 3 credits. Some special cases are civil engineering students (bouwkunde), who can make an IAESTE internship part of their mandatory summer internship, and the computer science students (informatica) who can earn up to 6 credits with an internship of minimum 6 weeks. More information can be found here (English) and here (Dutch).
- Bioscience Engineering (bio-ingenieur)
All information regarding internships and credits for Bioscience Engineering students can be found here (English) and here (Dutch). Most importantly, internships in an academic context (i.e. at a university) are not eligible for credits. Internships of minimum 4 weeks are worth 5 credits, when you do an internship of minimum 8 weeks, this is worth 10 credits.
- Bioscience Engineering: Biosciences (biowetenschappen)
An internship of minimum 4 weeks is worth 6 credits for biosciences students, but only if the internship is in a non-academic context (i.e. not at a university). More information can be found here (English) and here (Dutch).
- Engineering and Architecture (burgerlijk ingenieur en ingenieur architect)
- VUB/ULB: More information can be found here (English).
- KU Leuven: More information can be found here (English) and here (Dutch).
Usually yes, this is indicated on the internship offer. Upon arrival, usually someone of the Local IAESTE Committee (LC) will pick you up from the airport/train station and take you to your place, where you receive your keys and need to sign a contract. Of course, once you have been officially accepted for the internship, you can get in touch with the LC of your destination if you have any questions about your lodging. They can send you some pictures, inform you about the price, possibly sign the contract ahead of time, …
Your salary should be enough to cover at least living and lodging expenses (housing, food…). You can find an ‘estimated cost of living including lodging’ on the internship offer form as well, so if you compare the two numbers, you’ll get a good idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that costs of living differ a lot between countries. Flights excluded, an IAESTE internship should be a break-even operation. Apart from this, there is the chance that you will travel (a lot) during the weekends of your internship. This is of course not taken into account in the ‘cost of living’ and is an additional cost that you should cover yourself.
That depends on your destination.
Expect at least to be picked up from the airport/railway station, but in many cases much more. Like our Local IAESTE Committees in Belgium, the Local Committees (Lcs) abroad often organise activities, parties, weekend trips… for all IAESTE trainees, mostly during summer. Even if this is not the case, it is very likely that you are not the only IAESTE trainee in the neighbourhood, and the LCs will at least be able to get you in touch with the others. No harm in organising a small trip or party yourself, right?
IAESTE is medium-sized to very big in most European countries; expect groups of 50 or more trainees and weekends with up to 200 participants in Eastern Europe! In Asia, activities are organised as well. LCs in South-America are a bit less active, but we hardly ever get complaints about boring days there, as you’ll likely be travelling a lot in the weekends with a relatively small group of friends. North-America and Australia have no real LCs; you will most likely be picked up by your employer. These regions are however in general very open to ‘new’ people and it will be easy to communicate and find a group of friends (if you’re unsure about this, ask our alumni trainees to confirm!).
To summarize: should you be afraid to be headed towards a boring summer full of only work, we can highly recommend reading our internship booklet(s) of this and previous years. As you’ll notice, a boring IAESTE summer doesn’t exist!
Yes, in two ways. Firstly, as a scholarship student, you get a reduction in the administration fee (see our nomination procedure page). Secondly, if your internship is outside of Europe, you can be eligible for a grant of €200. More information on that will be communicated to you in June by email.
Other than these two options, there are no possibilities for scholarships or grants. Do keep in mind that you are getting a wage or an allowance that should be enough to cover your living expenses (housing, food…). The only costs to an IAESTE internship should be limited to the administration fee and the transportation to your internship country.
Questions about IAESTE Belgium.
No! Internships are our core business, but we do so much more! Some examples:
- Summer Reception: just like you are going on an internship abroad, students from abroad come for internships in Belgium, mostly during summer. We organise many social activities to bring everyone together and have fun. This is what we call summer reception, featuring a Brussels Weekend, a Ghent Weekend (usually during the Gentse Feesten), national evenings, sports activities… Joining one (or all) of our Summer Reception events is perfect if you’re interested in getting into the international atmosphere while staying in Belgium.
- IAESTE Brussels Quiz: Well, a quiz of course! As a now 6-year old tradition, IAESTE Brussels yearly organises its quiz around the middle of November.
- IAESTE Ghent Quiz: A bit jealous of the great success of the IAESTE Brussels quiz, in 2016 IAESTE Ghent decided to try to go for it as well!
- Twinnings: As IAESTE is all about exchange, that’s also what a twinning is: two Local Committees (LCs) ‘exchange’ themselves and visit one another for a (long) weekend: a Belgian LC visits the LC abroad, and a couple of weeks/months later, we get to receive some guests from the foreign LC (or the other way around). A twinning is an activity reserved for IAESTE members. Examples of some twinnings we did:
- 2014 – 2015: LC Ghent – LC Graz (Austria)
- 2014 – 2015: LC Ghent – LC Malta (Malta)
- 2015 – 2016: LC Ghent – LC YTU (Istanbul, Turkey)
- 2015 – 2016: LC Ghent – LC Prague (Czech Republic)
- 2016 – 2017: LC Ghent – LC Skopje (Macedonia)