My work is in composite materials, working on making stronger carbon-fibre reinforced polymers. The internship has had a very positive impact on me, giving me training in new skills, techniques and equipment, whilst allowing me to work in a very multinational company with lots of different areas of study to learn from.

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I live in the guesthouse of my company, just 5 mins from work. My two flatmates are also IAESTE interns in Empa, with a dozen more interns working in the company as well. The IAESTE local council in Zurich is very active and every week there is a meet up where interns working all over the city meet up for some drinks. During summer the local council organises weekend trips all over Switzerland, allowing you to experience all the cities and attractions the country has to offer. For such a small country Switzerland has a never-ending list of things to do and places to see. Swiss cuisine can be summarized in two words, cheese and chocolate. During the winter months, fondue nights are one of the best things to look forward to.


I learned that I can work independently on a project whilst also collaborating with others in different labs and disciplines. I also learned that I'm very capable of starting from scratch in a new country, adapting to the new culture, making new friends and effectively making Switzerland a second home. Working in such a large research institute has opened my eyes to the variety of research being done within Chemistry and how much broader it is than what I studied at university. The internship has inspired me to keep exploring abroad for job opportunities and new adventures.

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