Student placements

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

If you are interested in a student placement, 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 covering letter explaining why you would like to work at ESA.

A hot tip!

As each of the ESA sites offers student placements, 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

Where to send your application

  • ESOC European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt:

  • EAC European Astronaut Centre. Please send your application to the ESOC email address:

  • ESTEC European Space Research and Technology Centre:
    The deadline for applications for student placements at ESTEC for 2016 has now passed. Please note that applications submitted after 31 October 2015 will not be considered.

  • ESRIN ESA's centre for Earth observation in Frascati, Italy:
    The deadline for applications for student placements at ESRIN for 2016 has now passed. Please note that applications submitted after 31 October 2015 will not be considered.

  • 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 Please do not send any applications as there is currently no student placement proposed in this Establishment. We will keep you posted about when we are able to welcome students again.

Selection process

Candidates are selected by the relevant department. ESTEC will contact the selected candidates to offer them a student placement within four months after the closing date for applications. The starting date is made by mutual agreement and can be anytime within the following year. Candidates must be a citizen of one of the ESA Members States or from one of the European Cooperating States.

Terms and conditions

  • Internships last from three to six months, preference being given to longer internships. In exceptional cases, it may be possible to grant an internship of up to nine months in order to meet the specific requirements of an educational institution.
  • 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 daily allowance is granted of €20 for non-residents and €10 for residents. A non-resident is defined as someone living more than 50 km from the establishment.
  • Interns have to provide their own health insurance, accident insurance and travel expenses.
  • Interns are responsible for finding their own accommodation. Students have the opportunity to apply for and to perform up to two work placements during their studies.

Fields of study

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

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