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Student Internships

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ESA offers student internship opportunities from three to six months to students preferably in their last or second-to-last year of a Master's degree in technical and non-technical domains. Learn everything you need to know in this article.

Will internships take place remotely in 2022?

Internships can take place remotely, on-site or partially on-site depending on the pandemic situation and in line with the relevant establishment's policy (e.g. possible Green Pass requirement) applicable at the time of starting the internship.

What is the difference bewteen remote, on-site and partially on-site?

In 2022, due to less strict Covid-19 regulations, interns will have the option to carry out their internships either remotely (100% at a distance, no need to come to an ESA establishment to fulfil duties), on-site (depending on the internship topic, interns will be required to carry-out their activities at an ESA establishment) and/or partially on-site (a hybrid between working at a distance and working at an ESA establishment).

The details of how an internship will take place will be detailed in the job description or discussed during the exchanges you will have with your tutor and HR.

Any questions? Read our FAQs about remote student internships.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for a student internship at ESA:

  • You should preferably be in your final or second-to-last year of a university course at Master's level. You must have student status and be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. 
  • You must be a citizen of one of the following ESA Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, as Associate Members, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovakia as European Cooperating States.

What do we offer?

  • An enriching and highly valuable experience that could open doors to a career within Europe’s space sector, renowned research institutes or, of course, ESA.
  • An international, multicultural and friendly working environment.
  • Three- to six-month internships. 
  • Students are normally given one internship during their studies. This may, exceptionally, be split into two parts if requested by the student's university, provided that the total duration does not exceed six months.
  • Internships are unpaid, however, a monthly allowance of €600 for non-residents and €300 for residents is granted. A non-resident is defined as someone living more than 50 km from the relevant establishment. The non-resident allowance will also be granted to students with special needs, irrespective of their residency status.
    In 2022, students selected for remote internships will receive a monthly allowance of €300 irrespective of their place of residence. 
  • Student interns are responsible for their own health insurance, accident insurance and travel expenses.
  • Student interns are responsible for finding their own accommodation.

Internship disciplines

  • Mechanical engineering (optical, propulsion, thermal, mechanisms, structures, materials, robotics)
  • Electrical engineering (RF, power & data systems, antennas, microelectronics, EMC, components)
  • System engineering
  • Telecom and integrated applications
  • Software engineering
  • Ground segment systems and operations
  • Product/quality assurance and safety
  • Applied mathematics
  • Earth observation and environmental science (geophysics, meteorology, climatology)
  • Planetary and space science (astronomy, astrophysics, solar physics)
  • Life and material sciences
  • Law (contracts, procurement, international public law)
  • Finance (project control, cost analysis, auditing)
  • Communications and public relations
  • Human resources
  • Information technology
  • Facility management

More about Life at ESA

Find out everything you need to know about life at ESA and work-life balance on our pages.
For more information about ESA sites, check out ESA Establishments.

Recruitment process

How to apply for a student internship opportunity

Opportunities are published in November each year and remain open for a month. You can set up a job alert to be informed as soon as the opportunities are published!

  • Once published, you will be able to browse the ESA list of opportunities here.
  • Select the one that best matches your interests and profile.
  • To apply, you first have to register and create your candidate profile with your CV and motivation letter.
  • Once you have applied, you will be able to track the status of your application.

Recruitment timeline

  • November: call for applications
  • December/January: shortlisting and selection of candidates
  • February: earliest start date for internships. The take-up-duty date is set by mutual agreement taking into account preferences included in your application form and can be any time from February to October of the same year. 

All candidates will be informed of the outcome of their application. 

Our tips for your application

Before applying, read our opportunities thoroughly and focus your attention on an opportunity that is in line with your interests and background.

Share your motivation, interests and enthusiasm in your motivation letter – but keep it clear and concise! Answer the questions in the application form carefully: they are important for us to learn more about your profile. 

If you have any further questions, feel free to write to us at contact.human.resources@esa.int.

Looking for more learning and hands-on opportunities?

ESA Academy is open to university students from undergraduate to PhD level coming from ESA Member states, Canada, Latvia and Slovenia.

ESA Academy teams up with European universities, space institutes, and national space agencies to offer exceptional learning opportunities and practical experiences in a vast portfolio of different programmes. ESA Academy is designed to complement academic education. Its objective is to enhance students’ educational experience and help them develop both practical and theoretical know-how and expertise in various disciplines, ranging from space sciences to engineering, space medicine, spacecraft operations, project and risk management, product and quality assurance, standardisation and much more.

Learn more about ESA Academy.

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