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Life at ESA

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ESA / About Us / Careers at ESA

What is it like to work at ESA and what can you expect as a new staff member once arriving on site? When you join ESA, you join an international and friendly environment which offer a range of benefits and services provided on site. These may vary from establishment to establishment.

Accepting a job at ESA means not only adjusting to a new work environment but in some cases, also adjusting to a new country, a new culture and a new language. ESA offers a number of services to help staff settle into their new environment more easily.

Find out more about what we offer. More detailed information can be obtained from the local Human Resources team once a contract has been offered.

Moving to ESA

When moving from one country to another, as an ESA staff member, you are entitled to reimbursement of your removal expenses. This can be at the time of joining ESA, moving to another ESA establishment during your career or at the end of your contract.

If you have to move from your home country to work for ESA, you will receive a relocation support package. This includes support to help you find accommodation as well as the reimbursement of your removal expenses plus an installation allowance to assist with the costs associated with settling into your new home.


We offer a range of facilities and services at all ESA Establishments to improve the quality of your working life and work-life balance:

  • subsidised canteen/coffee bar
  • medical centre
  • bank
  • travel agency
  • free car parking
  • sports facilities (including gym, tennis court, five-a-side football pitch, basketball court and exercise classes) – depending on the ESA Establishment
  • social clubs (ranging from photography and gastronomy to sailing, scuba diving and tango dancing) – depending on the ESA Establishment
  • staff discounts on local services
  • after-school childcare depending on the ESA Establishment

Working hours & flexible working arrangements

ESA is a family-friendly environment offering flexible working arrangements and multiple benefits to its employees for greater work-life balance.

ESA’s standard working pattern is an eight-hour working day and 40-hour week. To help our staff balance their professional and personal lives, we offer flexible working (with a flexitime scheme and agreed daily core hours when everyone is at work), the option to telework (either following a regular pattern or on an ad hoc basis) and a part-time scheme (50, 60 or 80%). Some of the these benefits, such as teleworking and part-time working, can be requested once you have been working at ESA for a certain period of time.

Learn more about what we offer.


ESA staff benefit from:

  • 32.5 days of annual leave, 12 public holidays, special  home leave for expats (8 days every two years
  • Parental leave up to 6 months (paternity and maternity leave; equivalent leave in case of adoption; family care leave of a maximum of 2 months’ unpaid salary to take care of a seriously ill child, spouse or parent)
  • Special leave for birth and in case of child sickness
  • Sabbatical leave possibility
  • Award-winning ESA Summer Space Camp (two-week long camp for ESA children organised by a committee of volunteers since 1994)

Find out more about what we offer.


At ESOC, ESTEC and ESRIN childcare facilities are available on site. A childcare network agreement has been set up for HQ.

Language training

ESA can support the integration of new staff and their families with language learning. Details will be provided on the kinds of training available and on the financial contribution ESA can offer.

Learn more about Learning and Development Opportunities.

Social clubs

ESA's main Establishments offer a wide variety of subsidised social, cultural and sports clubs for staff members and their families. Activities organised by these clubs take place outside working hours.

The variety and number of facilities and activities offered by the different clubs vary between locations. Some will be on site and some will be close by, but whatever your interests, you are sure to find a club that caters for them.

Some establishments offer access to sports facilities on site. Find out more about ESA Establishments.

Medical services

Every main Establishment has an in-house medical advisor. It is their job to provide emergency medical care and conduct an annual medical examination of staff. They can also give advice on finding a family doctor, dentist and other local medical services.

Some Establishments also have a welfare officer/social worker who can provide support and assistance to staff and their partners and spouses on issues such as stress management, personal problems, childcare facilities and dealing with children with a disability.

More information about medical cover can be found in what we offer.


Partner and spouse support network

ESA has a number of initiatives to help the partners and spouses of staff members settle in and to help those looking for work to find employment. Some establishments have a partner and spouse network, partially run by spouses and partners of staff, to help newcomers adjust to living in the local community. ESA also works with private networks specialising in support for expatriates and exchanges job vacancies with other international organisations that may be present in the locality.

Expat network 

There are a number of external sites with useful information for expatriates, including information such as local transportation, international schools, telephone directories, housing, itinerary planning and much more. These sites can provide additional information for prospective candidates. As they are external to ESA's Portal, ESA is not responsible for their content.

Expatica - link to sites for expats in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany
Expatriates - links per country, classifieds and other ads, for and by expats
Expat Focus - general expat site ‘Expat news, community and advice’
British Expats - for British nationals
European Council of International Schools – searchable database of international schools
Jobs in Europe - database of agencies and organisations that deal with multilingual recruitment

More information

Learn more about ways to join us and our recruitment process. You can also browse our current vacancies!
Meet your future colleagues and find out more about careers with ESA people.

Still have questions? Maybe you can find the answers in our  FAQs.

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