IAESTE Stories

IAESTE is all about internships, international internships. IAESTE provides a fun way to discover the world, by working abroad.

In the internship testimonials and booklets you can read stories written by students just like you, who went abroad in the past summers with IAESTE. The goal of these is to give you some impressions, to remove all doubts and to give you the chance to get this great experience for yourself!

--------- Stories 2017 ----------

The stories of the 2017 internships can be read here (7.2 MB).

Some of the Belgian interns also wrote some very interesting blog posts:

More to come!

--------- Stories 2016 ----------

Stageboekje 2016 (8MB)

--------- Stories 2015 ----------

This is a IAESTE experience story of Lieselot Geldof who has been to Malta

Lies "It was now or never. My last summer holiday was coming up, so it was up to me to make the most of it! When I saw the list of possible countries, one immediately caught my eye: Malta. After going through the results of ‘Malta’ on Google Images and checking the website of the company, I was convinced! I was going to do it and Malta was going to be my first choice. After some exciting weeks, I received the message that I could do my internship on this little island! Eeny-meeny-Malta, only two times the size of Ghent!
Bouncing heart, waving family, just me and my luggage... Off we go! After a good flight, a small, tanned guy on slippers was waving to me with a big smile. This had to be the IAESTE-Malta guy! ‘Open your window, otherwise you’re going to die!’. After wanting to enter on the wrong side of the car, he drove me to my apartment in the Maltese way. There is a saying that goes: Maltese people don’t drive on the left, neither on the right, but where the shadow is. He seemed to be the stereotype of the Maltese, not to be confused with Maltesers! I lived with two other IAESTE-students and two Maltese. The perfect combination of having afternoon tea with my English roommate as well as trying the self-prepared tuna from my Maltese flatmate’s mother.
Thanks to the chaotic Maltese transport, my Spanish IAESTE-colleague and I had to walk for half an hour in 30°C to go to work. Our path consisted of going down a hill covered with stones grown over by weeds, followed by climbing up a lot of stairs during which I learned some Spanish swearwords. Luckily, the air-conditioning and the amazing atmosphere at work made us forget about our walk quite quickly.
As an architecture student, I was lucky to work with DeMicoli & Associates. This is one of the most famous architectural offices of Malta with projects going from a resort with palm trees inside to the renovation of the only tower of Malta. I worked together with architects and technicians, as well as with the people who made the models.Lies The architectural design, the construction details, the interior design, the models, all of these things were done by the forty people working there. As a lot of my colleagues were young foreigners, lunchbreaks consisted of preparing and enjoying Sicilian, Italian, Spanish, and of course Belgian food during which we discussed all the differences between our countries. These moments were extended with drinks after work and even a barbecue on the beach at sunset.
I didn’t only learn things at work, but also from the other IAESTE-students. From the Spanish, I learned how to make sangría and of course the lyrics of the Macarena. The Czech guy proved that they are not that resistant to beer as they say they are and from my lovely British roommate I got a kind of British accent. LiesMy Scottish flatmate was very nice, but I didn’t learn a lot from him because almost no one was able to understand his accent. A Polish friend proved that the partying stereotype is completely right and she was the only one, besides the Croatians themselves, who liked the Croatian drink Rakia. One evening, I refreshed my French with a guy from France, a Romanian girl, and one of the Spanish people. From the Slovakian girl, I learned that the world is really small as her boyfriend lives in the same city as my grandmother.
Last but not least: the Maltese themselves. Even though Malta is small, the hospitality of the Maltese is great. With a lot of enthusiasm, they introduced us to the rich history of Malta by visiting different historical cities, taking us to beaches all over the island, organising a barbecue on the cliffs, joining us for a night on the beach during our weekend in Gozo, a smaller island of Malta, and immersing us in the rich Maltese culture. A part of this culture is that every town organises a feast during which they honour the saints and launch tons of firework, even during the day. We went to the craziest one of these feasts where everyone, including us, was painted either red or blue. Afterwards everyone was waving with flags in the same colour they were painted, pouring beer and singing songs which were not even about the saints, but actually just swearing towards those painted in the other colour.
The highlight of these feasts, the one of Santa Maria, was also my last day in Malta. A perfect day spent with great friends on my favourite beach, followed by some drinks with a view of Valetta by night!
Malta, see you again!"

This is a IAESTE experience story of Matthias Herthoge who has been to Austria

Mat "Hello reader! Glad to have you reading my short report of one of my best summers to date. You might have absolutely no idea what IAESTE is, or you think that an internship abroad is nothing for you and that it is too much hassle to deal with. You might feel afraid to go abroad alone. Or you already know that you want to have a great internship in a different country. In the following paragraphs I will try to convince you to applicate this year to go on one of the greatest journeys of your life!
During my internship I worked with Atom Probe Tomography (APT). This is a wonderful material characterization technique that we don’t have at Ghent University. I got to learn the ropes and tricks on how to prepare samples, interpret data and grasp the concepts of how this technique works. The main idea behind APT is that you ionize atoms from metal needles and let the ions hit a detector. This allows you to know the chemical composition for the sample and which element sits where. It also allows you to brag to your friends that you spend your summer vaporizing metal.
The technical side of the internship, i.e. your “work”, is what brings you abroad. The main experience of an IAESTE internship consists of the people you will meet. Not only did I work together with wonderful PhD’s whom I count to my friends after two months of warm welcoming. I also gained some great international friends and got different looks on their cultures and mine. IAESTE not only helps you with paperwork and getting there, it also provides you with a group of people to hang around with. The organizers, the students from IAESTE who welcome you, also plan some great events. You will never be bored and never will feel lonely!
My internship was in a small town in Austria called Leoben. How small is Leoben you might ask? We had the saying at the Montan University that Leoben is so small, you can’t get lost because everything is within a five minute walk. This adds to the charm of the town! Mat The welcoming at Leoben was great. The first evening I spend on one of the organizers apartment balcony, drinking some fine Austrian Gösser. We discussed the differences between our countries, engineering and had some good laughs. It is great how fast you make friends with other engineering students. You have so many interests and views in common that it seems like you are all longtime buddies.
In the course of the next few weeks, more and more trainees arrived at Leoben. It was nice to see not only European trainees, but also some great people from Arabic countries! I had some of my best discussions with an Omani trainee. The trainee from Jordan did not know how to ride a bicycle. In her country, bicycles were seen as toys for children and not a modus of transportation. As a student from Ghent, this was a very weird concept.
My workdays started with waking up at 6 AM (the horror). After taking the bus from the dorm to university I started work at 8 AM. Half an hour later, we drank some coffee. At 11 AM it was time for lunch. This seems very early, but you get used to it very quick. In the afternoon, we had some more coffee and did some science. After work we always had an activity planned by IAESTE. We had movie nights on Monday, playing board games at the dorm, international cooking nights … And of course every activity was accompanied by beer, yay! You will never feel bored on your internship.
When it was time to go back home, we had a farewell party for every trainee. This shows how fast you connect with other people during your internship. The Whatsapp group we made is even now still active. In September, some trainees visited Belgium. I showed them Ghent and when I visit their country they will show me theirs. IAESTE is not just about technical training, it is about building bridges between nations. Do I regret anything after doing my internship? Yes, I regret only doing it after my first year of master. Had I known how much I could learn and grow as a person by doing this internship, I would have applied sooner!"

Stageboekje 2015(4 MB)

---------- Other previous years ----------