Donnerstag, 8. Februar 2024

The European Space Agency (ESA) has worked closely with Switzerland to improve the number of Swiss students applying to ESA internships. The result: an 173% increase of Swiss applicants was reached in the last year. The campaign of Space Exchange Switzerland (SXS) for internships is an insightful example on how mobility grants can be used to foster Swiss talent in the field of space. 

Fostering mobility in the space field
In May 2022, Space Exchange Switzerland (SXS) was accredited as a mobility consortium (EPFL, ETHZ, UZH, FHNW and USI) by Movetia. With this accreditation, SXS is able to provide grants to facilitate international internships at ESA, NASA, JAXA or Space Companies.  

Within this consortium, USI career service is responsible for promoting and managing the international internship mobility for SXS and is pleased with the positive development. The increase of 173% of Swiss students applying to ESA is just one indicator of the growing interest. Silvia Invrea, Head of Usi career service and responsible for the SXS career development, points out that the agreement with Movetia was key to the success of the communication campaign towards Swiss students, enlightening the importance of mobility for a challenging and successful start of a career in a broader horizon. 

Elena Bittante, SXS career coordinator, highlights that students in Switzerland doing internships in the space field, whether at ESA, NASA, JAXA or at major European Companies and start-ups, value the SXS Movetia grant for their experience abroad. When students return, they remain active members of the Swiss Space Community by offering personal counseling. In addition, their passion makes the community more vibrant.

How to apply for the international traineeship grant?
People who like to work in a diverse and multicultural environment, with team spirit, curiosity and a passion for space, are highly encouraged to search for their career in the space field. 

The application is open to all students enrolled, at the time of application, in a Swiss University / University of applied sciences (Bachelor's/ Master's /PhD’s programme). Find out here how to apply to the internship programme.  

In the space field young students/graduates are hired with backgrounds in engineering, natural and social science, IT, business and administration services, law, finance, communications, human resources, facility management; also, are wanted emerging skills - such as AI, Machine learning, Data science, Cybersecurity, and other similar competences.

Switzerland is a ‘space nation’

In April 2023, the Federal Council adopted the 2023 Space Policy and from July 1st 2023 Switzerland, for the first time, chairs the ESA Council, which decides the framework in which ESA develops and implements the European space programme.

Switzerland is a founding member of ESA and has actively participated in European space development since 1960. Switzerland supports ESA in its mission of peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone, and the protection of our planet through all Earth Observation programmes.

In 2022, the Swiss Space Office created the new national platform Space Exchange Switzerland (SXS) to amplify the voices of the Swiss space ecosystem and to engage young talents into the space field, also promoting their mobility.