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Mgr. Ivana Karlovská, Charles University, ročník 6

Faculty Faculty of Science
Field of study Biology
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipAny
Internship period (from - to) 1.7.2017 - 31.12.2017
Internship duration (weeks) 26
Transport (means, price) Return flight from Prague around 3000 CZK, return bus ticket around 1600 CZK
Insurance/Insurance company Swisscare, 65 CHF per month
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) yes
Price of Visa 85 CHF
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Switzerland, Zürich
Internship reference number CH-2017-000068

About the country

Location of the place

Switzerland is in Europe and is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Liechtenstein and Austria.


Zürich is located in the north part of Switzerland by the Lake Zürich. It is a very clean and safe city with minimal criminality, but also one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

Switzerland has a lot to offer. There are many cities in Switzerland worth visiting (Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Lugano,...) and the nature is stunning everywhere. The swiss trains are very fast and precise and they can get you anywhere. Although they are pretty expensive, if you buy sale cards for trains, it is affordable. You can also easily visit some of the neighbouring countries.



I was working in Biognosys AG in Schlieren, very close to Zurich. It is a company providing proteomic analyses, selling kits for sample preparation for mass spectrometry and developing software for analyzing mass spectrometric data. The atmosphere at work was really amazing. Everyone was really friendly and supportive. My supervisor took great care of me, he always had time for me and answered any question I had.

Work description

I was comparing different sample preparation protocols. As a second project, I was evaluating drug target deconvolution technology for proteomics. My work was quite balanced between lab work and analyzing data on a computer. It was really nice especially because they really used what I found out.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

I was recieving around 2100 CHF per month. Prices in Switzerland are quite high, but if you don't waste your money, you can travel during the weekends and also save some money.

Language requirements

Good level of English was required and the common language at work was English. Zurich is in the German speaking part of Switzerland, but majority of people in Zurich speaks English very well, so even though I have some German basics, I did not need it most of the time.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

I was living with one girl in a three-room apartment. My tutor from IAESTE found it for me before I came. It was a very nice flat and it took me only 10 minutes to go to work by walking. The rent was 775 CHF and additional 60 CHF per month for internet and electricity.

Social life

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

An IAESTE member picked me up at the bus station and helped me with all the important things like obtaining the cards for transportation, sim card and other stuff. Also later, he was making sure that I am ok and I don't need anything. There were weekly meetings every Thusrday in Zurich. During the summer weekends, IAESTE was organizing some activities to all corners of Swizerland, so it was really great opportunity to see all of swiss nature and to meet with other interns.

Meeting other foreign students

Thanks to the weekly meetings and weekend trips it was really easy to meet other people and make new friends.

Sport and culture

Hiking in mountains, swimming in a lake or in a river (all rivers and lakes in Switzerland are crystal clear and really great for a swim), also jogging seemed very popular in Switzerland.

Food, local specialties

I was mostly cooking for myself because food in restaurants is very expensive. Apart from that, I recommend to try cheese fondue or Raclette and of course their delitious chocolate.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Calling via phone or sending SMS is quite expensive, so I was using only internet to communicate. We had internet at our apartment and I also bought local prepaid simcard (5,9 CHF per 1GB per month).

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Buy Gleis 7 (card that allows you to travel by trains for free after 7pm) and halbtax as soon as you arrive. It might seem expensive at the beginning but it pays off very soon!
Before you go, check compatibility of plugs from your electronics with Swiss sockets.

What not to forget with you

Hiking shoes and outdoor equipment, umbrella (sometimes it rains quite a lot there), alcohol or other gifts from your home, adapter to Swiss sockets.

Benefits of the internship

I learned a lot about proteomics in general, some new laboratory techniques, R language programming and data analysis. I gained awesome and valuable work experience, I met a lot of new friends, saw many beautiful places in Switzerland and got improved in English and a little bit in German as well.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

Everything was perfect, they were making sure everything goes well for me and at the beginning they helped me a lot with the flat and other things.

Overall experience with IAESTE


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