Late in 2012, I applied for an IAESTE internship with IAESTE Malta. Having already heard numerous positive experiences from past students and friends, I was determined to go and experience it for myself. In early 2013, I was nominated for a year-long traineeship in Switzerland – a country with one of the highest standard of living. Having never lived abroad for so long, and uncertain whether I would be able to sustain myself financially, I found myself doubting whether I would be able to pull it off. But the moment I decided to go for it, I never looked back on that decision again.
I feel that this traineeship has really helped me become a more complete person. On one hand, I got first-hand experience working in a top notch materials science research centre where I really learnt new technical things which would have never been covered in my course and I also learnt how the industry operates and what it means to work in an international and multicultural environment. On the other hand, I became part of a big IAESTE family, where I met so many new people and made so many friends, friends around the world – which has made me realise how small the world really is when you are part of such a big family.
My experience did not stop there though. After attending most of the summer activities organised by the Zurich Local Committee, I felt it was my turn to give something back in return. I joined the committee. This led to even more opportunities and good experiences, as I got involved and even managed to organise a few events myself for other trainees and attend an IAESTE conference in Austria.
Now I’m convinced my involvement with IAESTE will definitely not stop there, and I really hope you also get the chance to go on such a traineeship. Inform yourself and look out for such opportunities and apply, and if you are lucky enough to be nominated, don’t hesitate to take it. You won’t regret it!
IAESTE Malta is a branch of the ‘International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience’ that takes care of an exchange system of internships with the other 80+ IAESTE branches worldwide. Therefore Maltese students (usually from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, ICT, and Built Environment) are able to spend between 6 weeks up to a year in a different country getting paid work experience related to their studies in top-notch institutions and companies. More than that, they are in an international community with other trainees who are likewise exploring a new country and trying to define themselves as young professionals. This makes IAESTE ideal for networking and also for a heck of a good time … just like Michael clearly describes!