Calendar and Conditions
2nd session: July to February
Depending on the academic program, students can do their internship during one of the two academic semesters, or between the academic break (summer). Some students fulfill their internship requirement by doing their master’s thesis (diploma) within a company at the very end of their studies. Internships cannot be done in academia (schools, universities, etc…).
Accordingly, the two main internship periods are:
- February to September
- July to February
Posting periods for internship proposals
To reach the highest number of students looking for internships, companies should post their proposals:
|from the start of the academic year end of September and ideally before December, for the internships to be undertaken between February to September.
|from February and ideally before May, for internships to be undertaken between July and February, or during summer.
Please note that the School of Computer and Communication Sciences would like to get the internships proposals before end of September, respectively end of February, to ensure the successful running of their student’s selection process.
Internships may be posted at anytime outside of these periods, but they may not receive as many applications.
In order to address every aspect of the engineering internships, the EPFL proposes an internship agreement binding the company, the student and EPFL for the duration of the internship. This contract provides clear information about issues such as confidentiality or intellectual property etc. The student is responsible for acquiring three signed copies of the agreement by the company and EPFL to provide each partner with a copy.
The master projects within a company do not necessarily require an agreement to be signed. If needed, an optional agreement for master projects can be proposed by the professor to the company.
Architectes have a specific internship agreement.
The primary goal of the internship program is to immerse students in the professional world. Therefore, remote work is neither recommended nor desired by EPFL.
Upon request from the company, exceptions can be made for a limited amount of remote work. Justification will be required and EPFL reserves the right not to allow it, when it does not appear to be consistent with the school’s training objectives.
In any case, the company must ensure that remote work does not prevent students from having a high quality experience, and that it does not reduce the value of the internship for their future professional career.
The company must also guarantee proper student supervision and working infrastructure while supervisors and students may be working remotely.
Working remotely from Switzerland for a company abroad is forbidden.
For information purposes, the Swiss authorities (service de l’emploi) expect an internship being paid about CHF 2’000 a month in Switzerland. This will be a requirement to deliver the working authorization for students coming from countries located out of European Union.
Master projects, in contrary to internships, do not have necessarily to be paid, since they are considered as an academic task performed under EPFL supervision.
- Internships are exclusively under the supervision of the companies project’s supervisor. The supervisor will evaluate the student’s professional skills through a simple questionnaire at the end of the internship. Academic credits will be given according to the master program rules. Often, the student will have to provide EPFL with a report. The supervisor will proofread the report to ensure that no confidential or sensitive information is sent to EPFL. All internships must be regulated by an internship agreement that can be added to the company’s own contract.
- Master’s projects in a company are under the close supervision of an EPFL professor. The company and the professor will collaborate to define the topic beforehand and will collaborate during the entire duration of the project, by meeting regularly. A master’s project at a company always requires a master’s thesis and an oral defense. Master projects do not require an agreement to be signed. However, if needed, the professor can propose to the company to sign the EPFL agreement for master projects (optional).
Pursuant to art. 39 OASA, foreign students registered at EPFL and in aid of a valid residence permit can do a full-time paid internship, provided that the internship is a mandatory part of their studies. However, they need to have an authorisation issued by the authorities of labor market to do so.
- For a student from third countries (non UE/AELE), the company must ask the competent authorities of labor market for the permission to employ the student as an intern and submit the working conditions to such authorities. EPFL issues an attestation stating that the internship is a mandatory part of the student’s studies, and that the student is still registered as an EPFL student during his internship. The authorisation shall be granted if the working conditions are valid. The company and the student must wait for the positive decision of the authorities of labor market before starting the internship.
- Students that are EU citizens and EFTA get the principle of mobility and the ability to perform an activity for the duration of the internship. The internship must, however, be announced to the control of the inhabitants of the town of the Student or in the canton where the internship will take place. The internship can begin as soon as the announcement is made.
Master projects in a company do not require a working authorisation since they are done under the supervision of a EPFL professor.
For further information, please contact the relevant cantonal authorities.
Canton de Vaud:
Service de l’emploi: vd.ch/emploi
Service de la population: vd.ch/population