[email protected]

Summer Internships for Bachelor and Master Students

The School of Computer and Communication Sciences provides internship opportunities in the Summer period for students enrolled in BSc, BTech, MSc, MTech, or equivalent programmes in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Telecommunications, or Electrical Engineering. Internships are assigned competitively to students with excellent academic results. (Students of other disciplines or interested in interships in other periods of the year may want to check the information below.)

During a period of at least two months and possibly including the 2nd week of July, internship students get the chance to learn new skills and to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field while working personally with leading senior scientists. Participating students will work in a research unit, typically to solve problems which are usually part of major research efforts. Often, this will lead to performing challenging programming or design tasks to prove new concepts. Being an intern at EPFL is a highly motivating learning and work experience in a competitive research environment, and it is also a great way to get familiar with another culture, to start building a network of connections in Switzerland, and to get prepared for a global career! And, last but not least, it is a chance to spend some months in a region rich in natural attractions and offering a multitude of leisure opportunities.

Due to significantly different summer recess periods and to related constraints for visa processing, there are two calendars, one for students in Indian institutions and one for students from the rest of the world.

Indian institutions only

Pratical Steps
Dates (every calendar year)
Application by the student
Deadline on the Sunday closest to 15th NOVEMBER; the application site usually opens a couple of
IC decision on acceptance
Around 15th DECEMBER (communicated by e-mail to all applicants)
Internship period
Usually from MAY to JULY, but flexible

Rest of the World

Pratical Steps
Dates (every calendar year)
Application by the student
Deadline on the Sunday closest to 15th NOVEMBER; the application site usually opens a couple of
IC decision on acceptance
Around 15th DECEMBER (communicated by e-mail to all applicants)
Internship period
Usually from MAY to JULY, but flexible

The minimum duration of an internship is two months but longer stays are strongly encouraged. The exact duration depends on the availability of participating students and on the agreement of the hosting laboratories. It is strongly recommended but not mandatory that the internship period include the 2nd week of July to enable participation in some common activity. Perfect overlap with the summer holidays of  EPFL students usually simplifies finding accommodation but, again, the choice of the period is flexible and agreed between students accepted in the programme and hosting laboratories.

Internships require full-time commitment (~40 hours/week). Therefore, participating students cannot attend another summer school or commit to other activities that could interfere with their work schedule.

Here is a telling testimonial by one of the 2013 students and here by one of the 2014 cohort.

WHO CAN APPLY?

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a 3- or 4-year Bachelor programme or a 1- or 2-year Master programme (or equivalent undergraduate programmes). Students enrolled in PhD programmes are not eligible.
  • The Bachelor or Master programmes must be in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Telecommunications, Electrical Engineering, or a closely related field (e.g., some relevant programs in Mathematics). Students of other disciplines may want to check the information below.
  • Applicants, at the time of application, must be currently enrolled in the 2nd year Bachelor or above(therefore, they must have successfully completed their 1st study year of the Bachelor’s programme).
  • Students from Indian institutions must submit their applications to the first deadline to leave enough time for administrative work (visas, etc.). Students from institutions in the rest of the world must submit their applications on the second deadline (applications from non-Indian institutions to the first deadline will be simply discarded and vice versa). If students from other countries have the summer recess aligned with the internship period mentioned above for Indian students, please contact us.

WHAT’S ON OFFER?

  • Scholarships: CHF 1,600.- per month (pro rata to the actual duration).
  • Refund of travelling cost (2nd class train ticket or low-cost/economy airfare, only after written approval by the hosting laboratory).

HOW TO APPLY?

  • Please use the application web site (usually open only a couple of weeks before the deadline, please be patient if the programme is not listed or the site closed). The next deadline is 18th November 2018 for students from Indian institutions.
  • Besides filling in some basic information about yourself, you must attach a CV, all your university transcripts, and a 1-page letter of motivation in PDF (no other formats accepted).
  • You should use the letter of motivation to describe your scientific interests and the reasons that made you apply.

MORE INFORMATION?

  • Please check the the FAQ below and write us if you cannot find the information you search. Please note that you will not receive any answer if your questions are answered below.

HELP ADVERTISING?

  • Please write us to receive an A2 poster or download the PDF file.

“I will complete my Master before this year summer break. Am I eligible for [email protected]?”

Unfortunately not. To be eligible, you must be still enrolled in a Bachelor or an Master programme at the time of the internship.

“I am a PhD student. Is there any way to come to EPFL for my summer internship?”

Yes, certainly, but not through the [email protected] programme. You need to organize your internship yourself, and for that you may want to contact researchers or faculty directly. If you decide to do that, be sure to include enough detail on yourself and on your specific interests on the research work of the lab—vague and generic letters have very small chances of success.

“Will you help with accommodation? Will I receive accommodation from EPFL?”

In principle you will be in charge of the accommodation. Yet, when offered an internship, the administrative personnel will almost invariably suggest a list of places where to look for it (billboards, student residences, etc.) or they may even find and offer you a specific place to stay. Finding an accommodation is not very easy in Lausanne, but do not worry: it is never a critical problem for an internship. (You may also want to note that it is particularly difficult to find rooms in gender-segregated compounds, as very few or none are in Lausanne. Please understand that if you are offered some accommodation by our administrative personnel and you decide not to take it, you are most free to do so but then you will generally have to find one yourself, as the offer is very slim and we do not have the possibility of matching any specific preferences.)

“Can I see the list of projects? Can I choose my project before applying?”

There is no list of predefined projects and therefore there is no way to choose a project in advance. Projects are suggested by the faculty directly to admitted candidates and can be discussed directly to find the best match between your research interests and the faculty goals. You should choose carefully your interests in the application web site, because this will be important information for the faculty in the selection process.

“On the form, shall I quote my Bachelor or my Master institution? And mention the Bachelor or the Master GPA?”

When you apply on the web, complete the form with the details of your current institution and programme (Master or Bachelor) when completing the fields “Current programme”, ” Current Institution”, “Current Cumulative GPA”, etc. If you have no Master GPA yet, write NA under “Current Cumulative GPA”. Additionally, if you are currently enrolled in an Master programme, use the fields “Previous programme”, “Previous institution”, “Previous GPA”, etc. to include your Bachelor data. In any case, upload all available transcripts, including Bachelor’s if you are currently in a Master programme.

“On the form, shall I mention the GPA in a specific format?”

When you apply on the web, specify the cumulative GPA at the time of application exactly in the format provided by your school on your transcripts, without attempting to rescale it to 0-100 or 0-4 or adapt it to any specific system. Do not give the GPA of the last semesters only, nor the GPA of your major only, but use the cumulative GPA. If your school does not compute an official GPA, please simply compute an average of all your grades, ideally with grades weighted by the number of credits of the courses. If you come from the German system, do not worry: we know that 1.0 is the best possible grade.

“On the form, I am not sure which preferred professors to select; what shall I do?”

When you apply on the web, you are asked to select up to three domains you would like to work in and up to three preferred professors you would like to work with. Please, definitely do express your preference of domains but do not specify any professor if you are not sure or have no particular choice in mind. Not specifying a professor is not going to have any negative impact on your application but specifying one who is not active in the domain you are interested in might be damaging.

“What documents shall I send with my application?”

When you apply on the web, you receive a mail with a link to upload three documents: a CV, your transcripts, and, optionally, a letter of motivation. Transcripts can be in any form your university provides them and should cover the whole of your academic career (Bachelor and, if applicable, Master so far). If you only have them in paper copy, please scan them. If you cannot obtain official transcripts on time or some key recent grades are missing, please send a PDF printout from the university web site (but please be aware that unofficial transcripts may jeopardize your applications, if the faculty has doubts on their originality). If they are not in English, please send both the originals and a translation (no need for the translation to be official, you can do it yourself). The only format we support is PDF.

“I have recommendation letters; can I send them?”

No, we do not need nor consider recommendation letters for this programme. Please refrain from uploading them and do not ask us addresses where your referents could send them. Note that uploading letters of reference could jeopardize your application.

“Are students from other disciplines eligible for this programme?”

No, this programme is only for the School of Computer and Communication Sciences. EPFL has other internship programmes, some open to all disciplines but restricted to some eligible home institutions, such this one, and some reserved to other disciplines, such as this one in the School of Life Sciences or this one in the School of Engineering.

“I am late, my school is on holidays, official transcripts take time to process, my latest grades will be known only a few days after the deadline; can I have an additional delay to apply?”

No, whatever the reason. After the exact deadline mentioned in the tables above, we usually leave the application website open for some 24/48h more (no guarantee, though!). If you manage to apply because the web site is still open, your application will be taken into account. If the application web site is closed, we are sorry but it is too late and we cannot do anything for you. If you completed the application form but could not upload the documents on time, the same applies: too late. Please understand that we receive way too many applications to handle special exceptions and the selection schedule is too tight to accommodate delays.

“How will I know if I am accepted for the programme?”

Usually, if admitted to the programme after a first round of selection, you may receive an offer by a faculty member within at most a month from the deadline. Around one month after the deadline, unless you have been selected by a faculty member, you will receive a mail to inform you that the selection process is closed. Please do not mail and ask for the status of the application: again, please understand that we handle too many applications to enter any individual correspondence.

“Shall I expect issues with the immigration visa?”

If you are accepted in the programme, EPFL will inform you of the procedure to follow and, whenever possible, directly start the visa procedure. Please read carefully the information you will receive and act promptly.