The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) Turkey is a national committee for the exchange of trainees which aims to promote social and technical sharing, on which academic institutions, industrial corporations and students are all represented. IAESTE Turkey, which is a branch office of IAESTE, is under the leadership of the Rectorate of Istanbul Technical University, and is made up of 52 Local University Committees.
Turkey became a full member of IAESTE in 1955, since when more than 10,000 Turkish students have had the opportunity to gain experience in foreign countries, and around 10,000 foreign students have taken part in training courses in Turkey.
IAESTE, which has its headquarters in Luxemburg, is an independent, non-profit-making and non-political international student exchange organisation which has been active since 1948. It organizes around 7,000 and 8,000 trainee exchanges every year involving countries in every part of the World.
The aims of the organization are to operate a high quality practical training exchange programme between members with the purpose of enhancing technical and professional development, as well as promoting international understanding, co-operation and trust amongst students, academic institutions, employers and the wider community.
General Information about IAESTE
IAESTE is a non-profit-making student exchange organisation operating in the field of international technical experience. Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) applied for and was granted candidate member status as a representative of Turkey in 1953, and became a full member is 1955. İTÜ is also a foundation member of IAESTE, and the IAESTE Programme is supported by İTÜ, which authorizes all activities which are carried in its name by the IAESTE Central Office. From the beginning of its involvement, up to and including the 2009 academic year, the activities of the IAESTE Central Office have provided the opportunity to be a trainee to around 21,059 incoming and outgoing students in Turkey. On a worldwide scale, the number of trainees who have benefited exceeds 330,000 over a similar period.
Features of the traineeship programme
As a result of the high quality of trainee placements which it has been possible to provide, our students benefit from a wide range of opportunities to go abroad as full-time and paid trainees for a period lasting from 6 weeks to 1 year, providing the following conditions are met.
The employer is required to pay the trainee enough to meet the basic needs (accommodation and food) of the students. The monthly salary which students receive should be at least equivalent to the national gross minimum wage, and students should also be in a position to take advantage of all the facilities of the institution concerned.
The salary level outlined on the O-Form should be paid at the end of each month that the students work, and the employer is requested to pay particular attention to prompt payment in order to avoid problems for the student.
Both the student’s university and employer are expected to provide assistance in order to solve any problems which may arise. Among the obligations which must be met by the student’s university, IAESTE Central Office and the student’s employer are the duty to supply all necessary documents, and to help students when they are applying for work permits, passports and visas.
The conditions that are outlined above are applicable to both incoming students coming from abroad to Turkey, and outgoing students from Turkey going to a foreign country. In the same way that we are obliged to do our best to supply a well qualified trainee for any placement, the host institution must also do its best to provide a suitable placement for any trainee. After this first and most important step, any potential applicant will be asked to take an examination which will be arranged by the relevant department, and when this step has been successfully completed an application can be made. A General Conference is organized in a different member country each year with the participation of the IAESTE Central Office, and at this meeting trainee placements are allocated in accordance with the current activities of the universities concerned. The placements allocated to Akdeniz University are distributed according to a formula which measures the success and suitability of applicants, after which a meeting is held with the successful candidates who will be required to prepare all the necessary documents which will be submitted to the IAESTE Central Office by the university representative.
Instructions for Students who find their own Trainee Placements
Students who find their own trainee placements must ask for an invitation letter from the institution which has offered them a place. This letter must give details of the payments the student will receive, the length of the training period, and the content of the training course.
The institution which is hosting the trainee must then contact the university which has been given responsibility by IAESTE, which will then administer the relevant procedures. The relevant IAESTE office will then contact the IAESTE Central Office in Turkey and send the trainee’s acceptance documents to that office. In this way IAESTE plays an intermediary role which is designed to make the visa application process easy.
The Friends of IAESTE Network
As is clear from the name, the Friends of IAESTE is a network made up of members who have already completed a period of IAESTE training abroad and are in employment, or are students who intend to participate as an IAESTE trainee. Any IAESTE candidate can join the network which will provide an opportunity to ask questions and get information before going abroad, as well as giving candidates the opportunity to make new friends. Membership of the network also makes it easy to keep in contact between friends made during the IAESTE experience.
The Akdeniz University IAESTE Student Club (Uluslararası Teknik Stajyer Öğrenci Değişimi Topluluğu-UTSÖD)
The IAESTE Representative for Akdeniz University isExpert Nurgül BÜYÜKKALAY. As a result of University Senate Decision No. 11/83, dated December 15th 1999, the IAESTE Student Club was founded on March 14th 2012 as part of the Directorate of Health, Culture and Sports of Akdeniz University. The club provides students with opportunities to make good use of their leisure time through activities which are both creative, and useful for society and themselves.
For the 2012/2013 academic year the Academic Advisor to the IAESTE Student Club is Expert Nurgül BÜYÜKKALAY, who works closely with the club organiser.
The main purpose of UTSÖD is to inform Akdeniz University students about IAESTE by introducing the programme and its published guidelines on campus, and to help students to receive technical experience which is relevant to their studies by taking advantage of the IAESTE programme. UTSÖD helps to create the necessary conditions by supporting activities which lead to the arrangement of internship exchanges for Akdeniz University students, and by helping these students to find a suitable internship place. UTSÖD also provides information about other communities and organizations which support technical internships and academic exchanges at an international level, as well as arranging mutually beneficial activities with these communities and organizations.
UTSÖD also works to establish contacts with successful, innovative and visionary companies, particularly those which participate in domestic and international exhibitions and fairs. In pursuit of this aim, UTSÖD prepares a wide range of cultural and informative materials such as brochures, leaflets and webpages, as well as organizing activities designed to introduce Turkish culture to a wider audience.
Through these strategies, UTSÖD aims to increase mutual understanding between universities, employers and society as a whole and, as a result of these cooperative ventures, to improve the quality of social networks. The exchange of interns not only provides a valuable opportunity to the students who take part, it also provides many social benefits to the employers and societies who accept the students.