Internships – How does it work?

Ingénieur·e·s du Monde (IDM) puts EPFL students in contact with organisations involved in social sustainability: NGOs, start-ups, companies, laboratories and associations working on a local scale. These internships enable students to put their engineering skills into practice while discovering a new cultural environment and a different day-to-day reality.

IDM offers grants of up to CHF 1,500 to cover travel and visa costs, as well as funding projects to offset the carbon emissions caused by your journey. In this context, IDM only exceptionally finances short air journeys that can be made by train (such as Geneva-Paris). Train or Interrail tickets may be included in the grant. 

To be eligible for a grant, an internship must meet the following criteria:

  • Make use of the student’s technical and scientific skills
  • Pursue one of the following two objectives:
    • Meet an essential community need to reduce inequalities (e.g. water treatment, electrification of rural areas, etc.)
    • Minimising the social and environmental impact of existing technologies, carrying out actions that have a positive impact on the life and health of the entire population (waste management, water, air and soil pollution, etc.)
  • Last between 2 and 6 months
  • Be supported by an EPFL professor
  • The work placement is not exclusively in Switzerland (at least 50% outside Switzerland)

For internships offered by IDM, students must first contact the Internships & Partnerships Department via the e-mail address at the bottom of the page, in order to obtain the contact details of the host organisation and find out whether the internship is available during the period when they would like to go away. Once confirmation has been received from the host organisation, the student will contact the Department again to inform it that he or she is applying for a grant. It is best to do this at least 3 months before the planned departure date.

When making contact, the student must include a CV, a cover letter explaining why they are applying for a grant for this work placement and the application form below. The application will then be studied by the department, which will contact the student to arrange a date for an interview and discuss the project in more detail. The decision to award the contract is taken following the interview, and after the applicant provided all the requested documents.

The following documents are required: 

  • Lettre de recommandation d’un·e professeur·e de l’EPFL (cette lettre doit aussi attester de la technicité du stage si le stage doit être crédité)
  • Lettre de la structure d’accueil qui confirme le stage et l’encadrement sur place
  • Attestation de l’assurance maladie prouvant que l’étudiant·e est bien assuré·e dans le pays où il·elle part. Une assurance rapatriement est également vivement conseillée mais pas obligatoire. 
  • Fiche de compensation carbone (à télécharger ci-dessous)
  • Attestation d’immatriculation à l’EPFL au moment du départ en stage
  • Factures des billets de transport, visa et de paiement de la compensation carbone
  • Fiche de bourse (à télécharger ci-dessous et à compléter avec les montants des billets d’avion, du visa et de la compensation carbone)

All of these supporting documents must be sent to the Internships & Partnerships Department no later than 2 weeks before the start of the internship. If this deadline is not met, the Department reserves the right not to accept the student’s application for a grant.

Once the documents have been sent in, the centre will hold a short briefing with the student to prepare them for their placement, covering the administrative, medical and social aspects as well as giving them the keys to making the most of their experience.

At the end of this process, the final scholarship contract is signed. The first half of the scholarship is then paid.

Once the internship is over, the student must send in a short report on the technical aspect of the internship, write a short text summarising the internship to be posted on social networks and also present the internship at a feedback event organised by IDM. The second part of the grant will be paid once these three conditions have been met.

See all the available internships here.

Propose your own internship!

Would you like to do an internship related to sustainable development, but the offers on the IDM platform aren’t quite what you’re looking for?

Ingénieur·e·s du Monde also subsidises students who propose a personal placement project as part of their academic training, provided that the placement meets the IDM criteria set out above. To apply, students must first contact the department to have their placement validated. The grant application procedure is then identical to that for a student interested in a work placement offered by IDM.


You can contact the Internships & Partnerships Department at the following e-mail address: [email protected].

+41216932045 (during school days, weekdays, from 8 AM to 5 PM)

EPFL Centre Midi 1416

Station 10

CH-1015 Lausanne

Access map

More about IDM


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