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Bc. Tomáš Bína, CTU Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Civil Engineering
Field of study Building Structures
Field of internship Engineering, Other
Specialization of Internship- - - - - - - - - -
Internship period (from - to) 14.7.2015 - 20.12.2015
Internship duration (weeks) 23
Transport (means, price) Bus / 120 Euros / Prague-Zurich-Prague
Insurance/Insurance company EHIC
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) No
Price of Visa 0
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Switzerland, Dubendorf
Internship reference number CH-2015-000032

About the country

Location of the place

The internship was performed in a small town called Dubendorf not far from central Zurich. By train it was 15 minutes from Zurich HB, by bicycle it was 30 minutes.



The town of Dübendorf is quite small and easy to navigate on foot. An interesting place to visit is the museum of military aviation. In the town you can also find restaurants, gyms, swimming pool, grocery shops, pharmacies and a post office basically everything you need to survive.


The city of Zurich is one of the cleanest cities I´ve ever seen. There are plenty of impressive places worth visiting such as Zurich Lake, the view of Zurich from Uetliberg, Bahnhofstrasse, Limatt River and the party street Langestrasse.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

There are many beautiful places to see in Switzerland such as the city of Lugano, Locarno, Geneva, Luzern, Bern, Lausanne, waterfall Rheinfall, Zermatt Matterhorn, many chocolate factories and many, many more.



An interdisciplinary research institute of the ETH Domain, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. I worked in the department of Building Acoustics/Noise Control. I was surrounded by team of professional, capable, knowledgeable and friendly people. All of the people were willing to help at any time.

Work description

I worked on my own small project dealing with dynamic stiffness of resilient materials used as an interlayer in floating floors. My task was to develop software (in MatLab) conducting measuring, processing and results evaluation. Our lab participated in a interlaboratory testing campaign organised by a Belgium Research Institute. This project contained 18 resilient samples with different properties measured according to the same Standard (ISO 9052) in 8 different laboratories all over the world. This round robin test was my job description for last two months.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Income 2000 CHF per month is lowest salary among all the IAESTE trainees in Switzerland, however without great expenses you can survive quite well.

Language requirements

Almost 90% of all people in EMPA are able to communicate in English. All the meetings in my department were held in English. Although if you know German, it is advantageous for you.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

All trainees, some other employees and ETH students stay in a block of flats, organised by EMPA, called Guesthouse, close to the workplace. It took me about 4 minutes by foot to get from my apartment to the office. Rent is 810 CHF per month. Usually there are four people in each apartment, everyone has their own room. The flat is completely furnished including washing maschine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, oven, microwave, vacuum cleaner, fridge and freezer. Once per week a cleaner comes to clean the apartment.

Social life

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

Nobody picked me up but with all the information which I'd received before, it was quite easy to get to the final destination. Every Thursday IAESTE members organise a small drinking, chilling meeting for all the trainees. IAESTE members also organise weekend events throughout the year where trainees can discover plenty of interesting places in Switzerland.

Meeting other foreign students

There were a lot of opportunities to meet foreign students through the IAESTE events describe above. As EMPA is large company providing many trainee positions, there are about 4-6 trainees working alongside you in EMPA.

Sport and culture

Sport and culture opportunities are all around you. One disadvantage is the entry fee. Everything is very expensive. For instance, kickboxing lessons in Winterthur costs 30 CHF and a one year membership in ACTIVFITNESS Dübendorf costs 740 CHF. Fortunately around Dübendorf, there are many beautiful cycle paths for jogging and cycling.

Food, local specialties

Food in restaurants is also very expensive. A standard meal including drink costs around 30 CHF. Local specialties are chocolate and cheese fondue.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Every apartment has free wifi connection. There is also free wifi coverage over the entire EMPA area.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Travel as much as you can, Switzerland is a beautiful country with a large number of fantastic places worth seeing.

What not to forget with you

You don’t need anything special.

Benefits of the internship

Every stay abroad is beneficial. This internship brought me language improvement, new friends, knowledge in Matlab and acoustics and much more. It's worth it!

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

Nothing to complain about.

Overall experience with IAESTE


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