IAESTE, The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, is an organisation that provides training abroad for students doing technical degrees such as Engineering, Architecture, applied arts or Science. The training is paid work, relevant to the course the student is studying and with over 80 countries involved in IAESTE, there are plenty of exciting opportunities available. The association was set up in London in 1948 and since then it has been involved in the exchange of more than 350,000 students around the world. IAESTE plays an important part in the development of young scientist and engineers and is the biggest organisation of its kind in the world.
Léargas, the National Agency in Ireland responsible for national and international exchange, manages IAESTE in Ireland alongside the Department of Education. Léargas works to help students get work experience abroad as well as working with Irish employers to find work placements for students who come to Ireland from abroad. Through Léargas and IAESTE, students get to learn a new language, immerse themselves in a new culture, experience living abroad and enhance their CV.
IAESTE is open to degree level science, engineering, technology and applied arts students in the second year of study and above. The majority of traineeships take place in the summer months, although longer periods are also available.
The selection process for a traineeship is on the basis of the application form and an interview. Interviews are held in February in various campus locations and, if necessary, by phone. The interviews aim to assess a candidates suitability for the programme and are conducted by IAESTE Ireland staff members. After the interviews IAESTE Ireland selects one applicant for each traineeship, this means that there is only one application going to each employer. 95% of the time the employer accepts the application and arrangements for the traineeship begin. The final decision rests with the employer and in a small amount of cases the traineeship can fall through due to organisational or financial problems.
Applications can be made online by going to www.leargas.ie and filling out the form. Additional documentation such as an up-to-date CV, official transcripts of your subjects and grades and a cover letter are emailed to a specific address. Application fees can be paid through PayPal. For more information on IAESTE visit www.iaeste.org