Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for an IAESTE traineeship?

To apply for an IAESTE traineeship, you must be:

  • aged 19 or over
  • enrolled at a third level educational institution in the Republic of Ireland
  • studying science, engineering, architecture or IT
  • 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 as long as they are enrolled in an Irish University in a relevant course. IAESTE operates irrespective of race, colour, gender, culture, religious or political beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

What language are the traineeships conducted in?

All IAESTE traineeships are conducted in English. If you have additional language skills, you can add them in your IAESTE application. Where a language other than English is required, it will be specified on the Offer form (the format in which all traineeships are published). You can see a sample offer form here.

What documents will I need to apply?

  • A cover letter explaining: your motivation for applying; how your personal/professional/academic activities, interests, skills and experience equip you for an international traineeship; why the traineeship will benefit both you and your potential employer; and your adaptability, intercultural awareness and independence.
  • A CV with details of relevant work experience, academic projects undertaken, academic and lab skills, knowledge in any particular software, etc.
  • Up-to-date college transcripts or grade sheets along with an explanation of the grading system followed in your college.

How do I apply?

Head over to our How to… section for an overview of the process.  Then visit the Registration & Payment section to make an IAESTE application. Follow the steps to create a profile on our applications portal, and then upload your documents. Make sure to complete all the fields in your profile, even if they are not marked as mandatory.

What fields of study are IAESTE traineeships available for?

IAESTE offers traineeships in the fields of science, engineering, architecture and IT. Occasionally there are also traineeships in the fields of Business and Marketing. The General Disciplines of study are:

  • Agriculture and Food Science
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business, Management, and Marketing
  • Chemistry, Material Science, and Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, Geology and Mining
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Economics and Social Sciences
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Engineering, Other
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Physical Sciences, Other
  • Physics

See the complete list of fields of study under each General Discipline here.

Can I choose my country?

Choosing your traineeship country in advance will limit your options. IAESTE focuses more on work experience that is relevant to your area of study. It is best to choose a job that suits you, rather than a country that suits you! The more flexible you are with your options of exploring new countries, the easier it will be for you to find a traineeship. IAESTE is present in over 88 countries around the world, so you will never fall short of options if you have an open mind for exploring new cultures.

When and how does the traineeship selection happen?

In February, we’ll share a catalogue of offers which were exchanged at the IAESTE Annual Conference (AC Offers) with all applicants. You will be asked to submit three preferences. The IAESTE Programme Coordinator will hold interviews to match applicants with the offers. These opportunities are reserved exclusively for Irish students. If you are not matched to an offer, you are welcome to apply for any of the COBE Offers (see below).

Throughout the year, there will be new opportunities published on the IAESTE Exchange Platform. You will see these on your profile as ‘Available Offers’ or ‘COBE Offers’ (Continuous Online-Based Exchange). The open offers are posted to all the countries in the IAESTE network. Although only one student will be nominated from Ireland, it is possible for students from all around the world to apply as well. This means, open offers are more competitive, but not impossible to gain! If something interests you from these offers, please get in touch with us at ieaste@leargas.ie. We will check with the country if the offer is available to receive an Irish application, then check your profile to see if you meet the requirements, and get back to you if you are selected.

We will send you relevant offers related to your profile from time to time.

Remember, the final decision to accept you as a trainee is always made by the employer.

What is the Annual Conference?

The IAESTE Annual Conference (AC) is a meeting of the National Committees of every IAESTE member country. It happens in January and is held in a different country each year. Each IAESTE member country comes with their traineeship offers, and exchanges or trades them with other countries. IAESTE traineeships work on a reciprocal basis, so each country receives an offer in return for their own traineeship offers.

What is the timeline for traineeship selection and employer acceptance?

You can apply for COBE Offers throughout the year, and they are handled on a case by case basis.

AC Offers are sent to all applicants in February to submit their preferences. Student selection happens in February and the documents are sent on to the employer in March. Employer decisions come through in April/May for traineeships during the summer months. If the employer does not select you, you are welcome to continue to apply for any of the COBE Offers.

What does an IAESTE Offer Form look like?

An IAESTE offer form contains all the terms and details of a traineeship. It includes the city and country of traineeship, the study field and other requirements expected of the student. It also has the duration and time period of the traineeship, and the stipend. You can see a sample Offer Form here.

What costs should I keep in mind?

  • There is a non-refundable €30 registration fee
  • Once you are accepted for a traineeship, there is a €170 placement fee
  • Flights/travel to and from the country
  • International travel and health insurance
  • Any visa/entry permit or vaccination costs
  • Spending money for the first month (you will be paid your wages at the end of the first month)
  • All IAESTE Traineeships are paid by the employer, and payment is sufficient to cover the cost of living and accommodation in the traineeship country.

How many offers can I apply for?

You can apply for three offers from the list of Annual Conference Offers which you will receive in February. You can apply for COBE Offers, one at a time. If you are selected by the IAESTE Programme Officer for an offer and your application has been sent to the host employer, you cannot apply for any other offer until the employer has reached their decision. If the employer does not select you for the COBE offer, you are now welcome to apply to the other COBE Offers.

What support can I expect from IAESTE?

Before the traineeship:
IAESTE Ireland will support you throughout your application process. Once you are selected for a traineeship, we will help you put forward your best nomination to the employer by helping you tailor your Cover Letter and CV to the employer specifications. The nomination includes your cover letter, CV, Transcripts and some additional documents depending on the country (for example, enrolment certificate, passport copy, etc). IAESTE Ireland will also organise a pre-departure briefing session where you will have the opportunity to meet with our student Local Committee, who have been on IAESTE Traineeships before.

During the traineeship:
Once you are accepted by the employer for a traineeship, we will connect you with IAESTE in your host country. They will welcome you to their country and support you to get started and settled in.  IAESTE in your host country will be there as the first point of contact and IAESTE Ireland as the second point of contact during your traineeship. In most cases, the IAESTE committee in your host country will also organise social events to experience the new culture and country.

After the traineeship:
IAESTE Ireland will organise a Welcome Back event for all the trainees who have been on IAESTE traineeships to meet and share their experiences. If you are not ready to give up on your IAESTE experience just yet, you can join our Local Committee and get involved with IAESTE activities in Ireland!

How do I become an IAESTE Alumni?

You can join the international IAESTE alumni network at https://iaeste.org/alumni. As an alumni, you can stay connected with the IAESTE network and discover international graduate and job opportunities. When you go on to become an employer yourself, you can also offer traineeships to the next generation of students waiting to go on an IAESTE traineeship!

What is an IAESTE Reserved Offer?

If you have found a traineeship abroad for yourself, and you or your employer would like it to be facilitated through the IAESTE programme, we can help you with administration and work permits.  You can also be connected to a community of students who will be your peer support in the new country. Please get in touch with the IAESTE Programme Officer at iaeste@leargas.ie to find out more.