To boldly go...on an IAESTE internship?

Celebrating International Day of Human Space Flight with the story of an IAESTE alumnus in space

‘Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!’

Many children dream of going to space, staring up at the sky with wonder, trying to comprehend the sheer scale of what they’re seeing. Sadly, for most people, watching television shows like Star Trek is as close as they’ll ever get to going into space. However, there are a few, those that dedicated their lives to that very mission, that succeed and are able to turn those stargazing dreams into reality.

In between childhood dreams and setting foot in space are a lifetime of hard work and dedication. To become an astronaut means excelling in all areas, from school, university and beyond. Only the best of the best make it and each step along the way is as important as the last. This is why we’re extremely proud that Japanese astronaut, Akihiko Hoshide is an alumnus of our internship programme, the International Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE). Founded in 1948, IAESTE’s mission is very similar to the one in Star Trek, except instead of exploring strange new worlds, it’s countries and cultures.

In 1991, Akihiko Hoshide (boldly went) from Japan to Sweden to undertake a period of work experience related to his studies. Akihiko was kind enough to provide us with this quote about his experience:

‘In the summer of 1991, I worked in Sweden as an IAESTE exchange student. I learned real technical work while exploring a different culture. 30 years later, I work with technically talented people from around the world, helping various researchers, while living in space for a few months. Dreams come true, never give up!’

You can read more about Akihiko here https://iss.jaxa.jp/en/astro/biographies/hoshide/index.html

Whilst, not all our interns go on to become astronauts (although there is also a second Japanese IAESTE alumnus visiting the international space station!), many excel in their chosen fields, whether that be in engineering, science or architecture. Doing an IAESTE internship can be an important part of your own journey. It shows you are motivated, brave, and willing to go the extra mile (or a few hundred!) to achieve your goals.

Thank you, Akihiko for sharing your experience with us. We hope it will inspire others to follow their dreams, apply for an IAESTE internship, and who knows, even one day also make it into space! It feels fitting to end with another famous Star Trek quote, ‘Live long and prosper!’.

Photo (c)JAXA/NASA

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