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Bc. Petr Šprta, Brno University of Technology, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Field of study Engineering Mechanics
Field of internship Physical Sciences, Other
Specialization of InternshipPhysical Sciences, Other
Internship period (from - to) 15.9.2022
Internship duration (weeks) 31.3.2023
Transport (means, price) Bus, 1800 CZK
Insurance/Insurance company Standard health insurance, CSS
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) Yes, L-permit
Price of Visa Free
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Switzerland, Baden
Internship reference number CH/2022-000011

About the country

Location of the place

Baden, Switzerland is a small town with a population of around 19,500 people, located in the canton of Aargau approximately 30 km far from Zurich. It's known for its thermal baths, which are natural hot springs that have been used since ancient Roman times. Baden also has a charming Old Town area, museums, galleries, theaters, parks, and gardens. The town offers a number of cultural events throughout the year and is located near the Limmat River, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Baden is well-connected to other parts of Switzerland by train and bus, making it a convenient base for exploring the country. The Hitachi Energy research centre is approx. 10 minutes by bus from the main train station. In my opinion, it is one of the best places for an internship in the whole Switzerland.


Because I lived in Brugg (and commuted to Baden), I will describe this town. Brugg-Windisch is a municipality in the canton of Aargau, Switzerland. It was formed in 2013 by the merger of Brugg and Windisch, and has a population of approximately 12,500 people. Its major attraction is the Habsburg Castle, which dates back to the 11th century. An interesting fact is that the whole Habsburg dynasty which ruled the Habsburg monarchy has its origins in this region. Another tourist attraction are the ruins of the Roman camp called Vindonissa which was a major military and administrative center during the Roman Empire. Brugg-Windisch is also home to the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, providing education in fields such as engineering, architecture, and business. Overall, it offers a high quality of life with opportunities for recreation, education, and entertainment.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

My first trip was to Zurich which is a must-see city in that region. With circa 420 000 inhabitants it is the biggest city in Switzerland. It has a beautiful historical centre and many other things to offer.
Another must-see town is Aarau which is the 'capital' of canton Aargau. The best opportunity to visit Aarau is the way to Migration Office which is located there and every intern staying in the area more than 6 months has to go there to arrange a work permit.
Because Switzerland is quite small country with great and fast public transport, you can visit many places even though you are located in canton Aargau. Looking backwards, probably the most beautiful trip was to Italian speaking canton Ticino where I visited the beautiful towns Lugano and Bellinzona and also hiked the mountain Monte Generoso.



Hitachi Energy is a multinational engineering and technology company that provides solutions for sustainable energy generation, transmission, and distribution. The onboarding was rather quick but everyone was very helpful when I had some questions. The research team had 15 permanent scientists and 5 interns. The atmosphere within the team was very good and the interns were invited to all group activities and team buildings. The pity was that the interns were not allowed to attend the group meetings and their access to the information was limited because many things were confidential. One of the biggest assets of the internship in this company was the fact that we interns could spend a lot of time with scientists and ask them many questions about the PhD study and career in corporate science.

Work description

I worked on two main projects during my internship. My main project was the validation and further development of an in-house Matlab tool for the prediction of the material ablation from the contacts due to conditions of an electric arc. It was a scientific project which required a lot of learning new things and creativity. In general, it was a very interesting topic but the pity was that the supervisor was very busy and I could not consult him about all the issues I came across. As I worked on the code I had to document all the changes and present them to my supervisor.
My second project was an experimental project in Lightning Impulse Laboratory. My task was to prepare the test samples and the experiment setup and also to conduct the experiments with the scientists. I liked this project because I could spend a lot of time in the laboratories with experienced scientists, ask them questions, and learn many new things.
My projects were slightly different from the description in the o-form and in general, the interns there had various tasks from different fields so the workload is a bit unpredictable.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

My net salary was 3150 CHF which was sufficient for local conditions.

Language requirements

Since I worked in a research centre with many internationals, English was the main language of communication and even though from time to time I heard German in the workplace it was not necessary to speak German.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

I found the accomodation on my own even though the company also offered company flats (but it was a bit more expensive). I found studio for 950 CHF in Brugg which meant that I had to commute 40 minutes one way. It was very nice studio with new kitchen, nice bathroom, bed, sofa, and TV.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

There were many activities organised by IAESTE. I liked the summer BBQ at which I could meet many other interns from all around the world. There were also weekly meetings in Zurich. Besides, the interns organised events (trips, beers in the pubs,...) for themselves so there were also many unofficial activities.

Meeting other foreign students

Regarding other foreign students, I spent a lot of time with my colleagues from Hitachi (they were not interns via IAESTE). It was a very international group and it gave me a lot to work with them and also to spend some time outside of the office. We shared our experience from different industries and different universities and it was a very enriching time.

Sport and culture

As far as sports are concerned, I like hiking, for which there are many opportunities in Switzerland. I hiked Stanserhorn, Monte Generoso, Pilatus, and many other mountains. Switzerland is very friendly to cyclists (many cycleways) and because I had my bicycle with me I also cycled a lot. Regarding culture, there are many events (concerts, festivals) in the region but I did not attend them.

Food, local specialties

Regarding the food, I was impressed with the taste and quality of Swiss cheese. I tried the cheese fondue and raclette which are typical Swiss dishes and they are really delicious. Besides that, Swiss chocolate is really great.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

There are many possibilities to communicate with the Czech Republic. You can use all internet platforms (Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype,...). The issue arises when it comes to mobile networks because Switzerland is not in the EU which means that the prices for mobile services are very high. This means that almost everyone buys a Swiss SIM card and uses the Swiss provider. I used LycaMobile which offered affordable bundles with calling and SMS to the EU.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Looking back, I would recommend finding accommodation as close as possible to your place of work because commuting is annoying.
I would also recommend spending as much time as possible with your colleagues and asking many questions and utilizing every opportunity to grow.

What not to forget with you

I took with me all the things specified in the Survival booklet provided by IEASTE and I did not miss any other things.

Benefits of the internship

I think the biggest asset of this internship was the opportunity to see how corporate research work. Part of this is the fact that I could discuss PhD studies with many scientists, ask about their experience, and decide whether to continue for PhD or not. This is an invaluable experience for interns who graduate from universities and decide where to continue.
Another benefit is that the topics of the research are very multidisciplinary covering many fields (mechanical and electrical engineering, physics, software development, work in labs,...) which means that the intern can significantly expand their knowledge into different fields.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

The cooperation with Swiss IAESTE was very smooth. Their service and care were really exceptional.

Overall experience with IAESTE

My overall experience with IAESTE is great. Both the Czech and Swiss sides were very helpful, kind, and professional. I would really recommend this experience to everyone.

Student's website


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Other comments

If you consider an internship in Switzerland. Do not hesitate and go for it.

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