Student internships

ESA offers students a wide range of student internship options. Applicants should preferably be in their last or penultimate year of a
master's degree. Many students take the opportunity of a student internship at ESA to prepare their thesis. In general, technical opportunities are available at ESTEC, ESOC, ESAC, ECSAT, ESRIN, EAC and Redu. There are also a limited number of non-technical opportunities.

If you are interested in a student internship, please complete the online application form, and send it via e-mail to any of ESA's main establishments listed below. You should include your CV and a cover letter explaining why you would like to work at ESA.

A hot tip!

As each of the ESA sites offers student internships, you should make sure that you select a specific area of interest when you apply. To help identify these, it might help to look through the list of ESA's research and project fields listed below, and to check our establishments' websites on www.esa.int.

Where to send your application

  • ESOC European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany and Redu, Belgium. The deadline for receiving applications for a student internship at ESOC for 2017 has now closed. Please note that your application will not be considered if you have submitted it after 31 October 2016. Applications for 2018 can be submitted as of September 2017.
  • EAC European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany. Please send your application to the ESOC email address: eac.meco@esa.int.
  • ESTEC European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, Netherlands. The deadline for receiving applications for a student internship at ESTEC for 2017 has now closed. Please note that your application will not be considered if you have submitted it after 31 October 2016. Applications for 2018 can be submitted as of September 2017.
  • ESRIN ESA's centre for Earth observation, Frascati, Italy. The deadline for receiving applications for a student internship at ESRIN for 2017 has now closed. Please note that your application will not be considered if you have submitted it after 31 October 2016. Applications for 2018 can be submitted as of September 2017.
  • ESAC Special deadlines apply for the European Space Astronomy Centre in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain, so please check here before applying.
  • ESA Headquarters The deadline for receiving applications for a student internship at ESA Headquarters for 2017 has now closed. Applications for 2018 can be submitted as of August 2017 to Students4HQ@esa.int.

Selection process

ESTEC and ESRIN:
Candidates are selected by the relevant department. Selected candidates will be contacted within four months after the closing date for applications to offer them an internship. The starting date is made by mutual agreement and can be anytime within the following year, preferably on the first of the month. Candidates must be a citizen of one of the ESA Members States or from one of the European Cooperating States.

ESAC and HQ:
Your application will be examined by the relevant department. If successful, and we are able to offer you an internship, you will be contacted by us. Should you not hear anything further from us within three months with regard to your application, then you must assume that we were unable to find a suitable internship for you. 

Candidates must be a citizen of one of the ESA Members States or from one of the European Cooperating States.

Terms and conditions

  • Student internships last from three to six months, preference being given to longer internships. 
  • Students are normally given one internship during their studies, however this can be split into two parts provided that the total duration does not exceed six months.
  • Internships are unpaid, however a monthly allowance is granted of €600 for non-residents and €300 for residents to cover out of pocket expenses. A non-resident is defined as someone living more than 50 km from the establishment.
  • Student interns have to provide their own health insurance, accident insurance and travel expenses.
  • Student interns are responsible for finding their own accommodation.

Fields of study

You can check out the full list of possible fields of study here.

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