Industry Internship Scholarships

Internships in South Korea provide Switzerland-​based students from universities and universities of applied sciences with first-hand work experience in an innovative company environment.
Supported by Leading House Asia

My first intensive contact with South Korea was during my exchange semester in 2021. Since Covid-19 was at its perks then, I decided I wanted to come back one day and experience the real Seoul. After finishing my bachelor’s thesis, I flew straight to Korea for my internship at YOLK; a company that makes clean and unlimited solar energy available to people. They got famous for their Solar Paper, the world’s thinnest and lightest solar charger, back in 2018. Additionally, their innovative project Solar Cow raised global headlines through its awards and its impact in Africa. The Solar Cow initiative enables families in off-grid areas to have access to electricity while sustaining education by giving students a “Solar Milk,” a power bank integrated with a lantern, which students can charge during the time they study at school. Through this, they simultaneously tackle both issues relating to educational and electrical access.

I could see firsthand the impact and joy that the Solar Cow project brought.

To increase the impact of Solar Cow, YOLK has recently decided to launch a new coffee brand Ayantu which will dedicate part of its sales to the Solar Cow project. During my internship, I was mainly responsible for the marketing of the brands, and I had the chance to build up the brand Ayantu. It was a great experience to work and learn from the creative minds in YOLK. Koreans’ hardworking and flexible working style impressed me a lot, and I believe I could learn immensely from my co-workers. During my period in YOLK, I also had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and assist with a Solar Cow installation. It was an incredible experience! I could see firsthand the impact and joy that the Solar Cow project brought to the children and their families in Arbegona. This internship has brought and taught me a lot, both personally and professionally. I can only recommend this internship scholarship to anyone interested in going abroad and gaining insights into another country and culture.

In the end, I applied at for an internship, since my interests lied in biomedical engineering. is a company known for its efforts to make prosthetic technology more accessible and affordable to people in need. During my internship, I gained valuable hands-on experience in the field by assembling prosthetics and improving the reduction gear system in their new prototype. This type of practical work helped me develop my skills and knowledge as a mechanical engineer, as it allowed me to apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations. Additionally, by working on a prototype, I had the opportunity to be involved in the design and development process, giving me insight into the entire life-cycle of their product.

An experience I would recommend to anybody!

Overall, my internship experience in Korea was incredibly valuable in terms of both my professional and personal development. In terms of work, I learned a lot about the assembly and improvement of prosthetic hands, and I also gained valuable experience working in a team and communicating with colleagues. In terms of life experience, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and try new things that I never would have had the chance to do if I had stayed in Switzerland. Also, I had the chance to indulge myself with Korean food throughout my internship.
I would definitely recommend an internship in Korea to other students. It is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a new and exciting environment.

Cochl, a research-based startup specializing in the emerging field of machine learning for sound recognition, attracted my attention. I was lucky enough to be accepted as a research assistant to support the team in the development of a context module for their current system. As the name suggests, the module captures the acoustic context and corrects the output of the sound recognition system if necessary. I got to know the company’s core algorithm and was able to prototype a context-aware model on top of the existing product.

An exceptional way to gain working experience while exploring a foreign culture!

Initially, I was skeptical about communicating without knowing the Korean language, but after my first interview with the team members, my doubts vanished. Luckily, all colleagues – Korean or foreign – know how to speak English, and the company’s documents are also in English. Thus, communication works very well. Above all, the atmosphere at the company is especially friendly and I enjoyed having flexible working hours. The most memorable opportunity I had was to meet all of the founders of Cochl and to learn about the company’s origins and future plans. Knowing that they started Cochl right after finishing their doctoral studies showed me first-hand what can be achieved with an academic background. Lastly, I really enjoyed experiencing the Korean work life which includes various activities with your colleagues (e.g. archery or ski day) and after-work dinners having Ssamgyeobsal. I can recommend the program to anyone who is looking for an exceptional way to gain working experience while exploring a foreign culture. Just make sure to bring really warm clothes for winter in South Korea, and get your Kakao & Naver apps ready so that you won’t get lost in the City.

At YOLK, a lovely team of women welcomed me. YOLK is a social venture that provides solar installations – so-called Solar Cows – in off-grid areas in rural Africa. Recently, YOLK launched a coffee brand, called AYANTU, exporting from Ethiopia. By leveraging the experience that YOLK gained over the years by installing Solar Cows in Africa, with AYANTU, YOLK is able to provide the highest quality coffee to consumers and at the same time support the Solar Cow projects and make the funding more sustainable.

My interest to work at YOLK was motivated by my studies in international development. With my additional background at the business university in St. Gallen, the idea of combining a business and a social cause in an innovative social venture was very compelling and interesting to me.

The opportunity to work in a small local company was very appealing to me!

As AYANTU was still in the early stages of its business development, I mainly worked on the marketing and fundraising strategy for AYANTU and I prepared marketing and social media materials. While I was often working independently, drafting articles, concepts, outreach emails, and the storyline for AYANTU and Solar Cow, I also enjoyed working with the team at YOLK and a team of students in the US. For example, I did a photoshoot with my co-worker Soo (where I spontaneously turned into a model) or I participated in the International Cafe Show.

In summary, during my internship at YOLK, I learned a lot about the workings, opportunities, and challenges of an innovative social venture. Essentially, it is very important to have a motivated team where people find inspiration and purpose in their work. I also learned a lot from my hard-working co-workers. They were always very welcoming and it was a pleasure to work with them. I  am grateful for this experience and I am convinced that it will help me in my future career. Thus, I can only recommend the opportunities at Leading House Asia and the Science and Technology Office in Seoul, especially for people interested in a career in Asia.