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MSc. Filip Dostál, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of chemical technology
Field of study Basic and special inorganic technology
Field of internship Chemistry, Material Science, and Chemical Engineering
Specialization of InternshipPolymer/Plastics Engineering
Internship period (from - to) 10/22-06/23
Internship duration (weeks) 36
Transport (means, price) Own car
Insurance/Insurance company EGK
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) Yes
Price of Visa 75 CHF
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Switzerland, Windisch
Internship reference number CH/2022-000079

About the country

Location of the place

The working place belongs to FHNW located in Windisch. It is a small town divided just by rails from Brugg, approximately 25 km from Zurich. Easily accessible by a train, 25 min from Zurich, 45 min minutes from Basel, 55 min from Bern, all direct trains. All the stuff needed for a daily life is accessible here, just don't forget that in west-european countries, shops are closed on Sundays :-)


Windisch/Brugg is such a nice and calm place to live in. Personally I am used to living in a town like that, so the life here was not very surprising. The town is surrounded by Jura mountains, which are not the mountains you would have associated with Switzerland, nevertheless they are also beautiful. Anyway, I have to say that for "party" people the life here could be boring.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

In a walking distance, there is a nice castle called Habsburg. If the weather is nice, the views are amazing.
10 min by train is the capital city of the canton Aargau called Aarau. This city is very historical, so it's worthy to visit.
Apart of that, I can recommend a visit of Zurich, Basel, Olten, Solothurn, Luzern and Bern - everything accessible by train up to 1h15. If you are up to travel a bit further, I would definitely recommend to visit Lausanne, Geneva, Sion, Lugano and St. Gallen. It is also worthy to visit Bodensee with the nice agglomeration of Konstanz.

Regarding hikes for which is Switzerland very well known, it depends just on you. Personally, I would highlight:
Lauterbrunnen/Grindelwald, 5 lakes tour in Pizol, Pilatus, Rigi, Stockhorn, Monte Bré, Monte Boglia, Napf, Grosser Mythen etc. A hike in Zermatt with a view to Matterhorn is a must :)



I worked at IKT which belongs to FHNW. The atmosphere there is very international and friendly. The people are nice to each other and always help you if you need. The official language is German but literally no one has a problem to explain to you whatever in English. Overall, there work around 45 people, so I can consider it to work in a family atmosphere. My group itself has around 8 people from Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Greece, so also very international.

Work description

During my internship, I was involved in four projects in a very wide spectrum, but all of them related to polymer processing, recycling and sustainability. I got familiar with several analytical methods - DSC, TGA, TMA, IR etc. Another part of my job was testing the materials - tensile and bending tests, MFI measurements. And finally regarding the processing, I have learnt something about compounding (extrusion), kneading and injection moulding. All of those methods are commonly used in plastic industry.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Sufficient enough to survive and a bit of travelling. Lunch in the canteen costs around 8 CHF, the rent was 525 CHF, mobile tarif 33 CHF, the public transport is very expensive in comparison with the Czech Republic. I went shopping groceries to Germany, as it's close to Windisch and it's significantly cheaper, especially meat.

Language requirements

Generally, I have to say that almost all the people in Switzerland speak English, so that was not a problem at all. Nevertheless, I tried a different approach, as I had set a goal to learn German during my stay. So if you are not shy and willing to speak German with people, they will definitely appreciate it. There are also some people who speak French or Italian, but they are in a majority :). Swiss German is totally different from high German, but if you ask people to speak high German, everybody will be ok with that, as even most of german/austrian people don't understand it. It's not neccessary at all to speak Swiss German, I would just wish to understand it hehe.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

Honestly the weakest part of my stay. It was a WG, kinda cheap for the Swiss standard, but we were there in 7 people, so you can't talk about a privacy at all. In addition, if 6 people can respect some rules and 1 not, it's a problem for anyone. As I couldn't see it before my arrival and ask my future flatmates about the atmosphere in the WG, I couldn't know it. But apart of that, I am glad that it was 5 min of walk from my working place and also from the train station.
I had to find it by myself, but I got a contact from a previous IAESTE intern.

Social life

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

Weekly meetings were organized every Thursday in Zurich. In the summer time close to the Zurich lake, in the winter time indoors. Especially in the summer time, almost every weekend, there is a hike organized by someone from IAESTE Switzerland, sometimes also a weekend in a big city etc. In the winter I participated a skiing weekend also organized by IAESTE.

Meeting other foreign students

I met a lot of people from all parts of the world, so it was definitely enriching experience :). But in the end, everyone makes a couple of friends with whom you spend the most of his/her free time.

Sport and culture

If you are in Switzerland, just go for hikes as much as possible as it's totally worthy. From November to March/April, it's the skiing season, so just go for it and have fun! I can recommend: Zermatt, Pizol, St. Moritz, Lenzerheide, Pizol, Flims, Lenk, Engelberg and Crans-Montana. Anyway, skiing is a kinda expensive sport, so just take care also about the state of your bank account.

Food, local specialties

Raclette, Fondue and Rösti are typical Swiss dishes. Of course all kinds of chocolate and cheese are available here!

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram.
The internet in Switzerland is very expensive from Czech providers, so it's definitely worthy to buy a Swiss sim card. You can buy either pre-paid, which I would recommend for a short stay or a tarif (but be careful about the notice period, which is usually 2 months at least!). Personally, I had a tarif from Yallo, including unlimited data in Switzerland, 3 GB in EU and unlimited calls to Switzerland/EU.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

I guess I have already explained everything. Just enjoy it and if you want to, feel free to contact me!
Maybe one life hack - if you are below 25 years, definitely buy the 7/25 (Gleis 7) ticket. With it, you can travel wherever you want to for free between 7 pm and 5 am (7 am on the weekends). It costs 100 CHF/year, so it can be worthy already after 1-2 weekends if you travel a lot. To buy a Halbtax is a must, as you have all the tickets for 50 % of the price, but they are still expensive. This cost me 120 CHF/year.

What not to forget with you

Skiing equipment, hiking shoes, sunscreen, swimsuit (to have a bath in a mountain like is such a good feeling!) and a good mood to discover Switzerland.

Benefits of the internship

I'm glad of choosing this internship for many reasons. Firstly, I tried applied research, which is very different from the fundamental one, which I had to take part at school. It is super interesting to solve real projects with companies and to see a sense of your work. Even if I decided to follow further an industrial career, I guess that this stay gave me a lot.
Secondly, due to this internship, I have learnt German and I can continue my career in another German speaking country.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

I would say that everything worked kinda well. There is a WhatsApp group for all the trainees located in Zurich area.

Overall experience with IAESTE

The best :)

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