Intern Abroad

Internship in Liechtenstein

October 6th, 2023 | by
  • Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, and Computer Engineering M.Sc.
  • Liechtenstein, Schaan
  • Hilti Group
  • 03/2023 – 09/2023


My internship was mandatory for the completion of my master’s degree in electrical engineering. For this,
I went to the headquarters of Hilti AG in Liechtenstein. Hilti is a tool manufacturer and one of the big
players within the construction market. Being an electrical engineer, initially I was not sure about
opportunities I would have there to combine the internship with my studies. However, through the main
careers page, I filtered all “electrical engineering” positions and found an intriguing position on battery
research. For me, the application was quite straight forward. After submitting my documents, my
supervisor reached out to me just a couple of days later. Here I have heard different stories. Some interns
were waiting for weeks for their response and still got accepted. The answering time depends on the
team, so a fast or slow response does not have to mean anything. My supervisor invited me to a technical
interview. In my case I did not get any detailed questions on certain processes or calculations.
Afterwards, HR invited me to a second interview. The main purpose was to check that I comply with all
regulations. Between submitting my application and receiving the offer, less than two weeks passed. After
I signed the contract, HR sent me a pdf containing all sorts of information on the area, leisure activities,
the dress code in the office, data to put in the forms for the Erasmus+ scholarship etc.


I applied about four months in advance, giving me a lot of time to prepare the stay. Shortly before the
start of my internship, HR sent me some forms, because the workplace is in Liechtenstein, but because of
EU regulations I was only allowed to live in Austria. With few exceptions, all interns live in Feldkirch, the
town at the border to Liechtenstein. For finding an apartment I recommend the websites wg-gesucht and I personally found my apartment on wg-gesucht. Since I wanted to move in with a
friend, we had some troubles to find a suitable apartment because there is not a lot of offers. In general, I
got the impression that many rooms are rented to people through personal contacts rather than the
internet. The rent is usually between 500 and 700 euros. For a restaurant visit I would account around
20€. Feldkirch has a large Interspar in the centre and another Spar towards the Liechtenstein border,
which are both quite expensive. There is also a Lidl and an Aldi (called Hofer) as cheaper options. Since
most shops close between 6 and 7pm already, I usually managed my weekly groceries on a Saturday.

Getting started in the first few days

No matter where you live in Feldkirch, the commute to work will always take around 20 minutes to work.
There is a train with four stops in Feldkirch and a stop right in front of Hilti. At the main station in Feldkirch
you can buy a yearly ticket allowing to take all trains and buses in Vorarlberg for free including the train to
Hilti. The ticket will always be valid from the start of the next month, so if you are in the area a couple of
days earlier, consider checking out the train station as soon as possible. Since many interns come and
go, it is also easy to get a bike which was especially nice during the summer days. Hilti also has some e-bikes that can be borrowed for 24 hours through the urban connect app. Next to figuring out
transportation, you also have to register at the town hall and at the tax office in Feldkirch. The tax office
will hand you out a form specifically for the commute between Austria and Liechtenstein, where you will
have to state your monthly income, expenses and enter personal data. After some time, you will receive a
letter stating the total amount of taxes that you have to pay for the year. Taxes are around 20% and HR
can always answer your questions regarding this topic. Finally, I also had to create a bank account for
Swiss Franks, because Hilti pays its salary in this currency. There are two main options. The ups bank in
Buchs and the Sparkasse Feldkirch. I decided to open a free Swiss Frank bank account on top of an
obligatory Euro bank account at Sparkasse Feldkirch. I had the option to transfer the money myself. This
option worked out well for me.

Everyday life

My daily routine started with getting up to get to work early. Although no one set any rules, everybody
arrived around 8am. There is a small gym on campus, and I went there in the mornings, since after work
it gets quite busy. The tasks vary a lot from one internship to another. I was mostly working
independently, but I also heard from interns with a packed schedule of meetings. In Liechtenstein, lunch
is already at 12 and some teams go even earlier. There is a canteen on campus, but the prices are more
on the Swiss side. With a few exceptions I always brought my own lunch and joined my team then. Every
floor has multiple kitchens that include a microwave to heat up food. Typically, everyone stays in the
office until 5pm. At Hilti, you are usually always occupied, and you get the opportunity to overtake some
responsibility. I had less free time, than I expected, because with the commute, sports, and cooking, a big
amount of the evening was consumed already.
Nonetheless, I had an amazing experience during my internship. There is always a huge number of
interns at the headquarters. HR organises get togethers every week, so I got to know many people
already from the start. A small team of interns organises workshops in a more or less monthly schedule.
The topic comes from employees within Hilti, so every time you discover challenges in a new area of the
company. I joined this organisation team, so I stayed in touch with these case owners and had the
opportunity to work on my presentation and organisation skills. Next to being insightful, the workshops
were a great opportunity to meet new faces and just have some fun. Furthermore, Hilti has a broad
offering of leisure teams. I joined the football team that meets once a week. During winter, we played
indoors and after April we went outside on a big pitch. Hilti also organised a campus run, sponsored
tickets for a concert in the opera in Schaan and took over the fee for the Zurich marathon. The sign up for
all these events is on a first come first serve basis, but they are announced in advance on the internal

What to do around the area

During the weekends, I was mostly hiking. Cool hikes around the area are Schesaplana which can be
reached by public transport or Hoher Kasten. I definitely recommend doing Säntis and three sisters, but
they are a bit tricky in some parts, so they should not be done as the very first hike. On warmer days, you
can always find people who want to join to go to one of the close by lakes. There is Gamprin in
Liechtenstein, which is a small lake for bathing including changing rooms, a small football pitch, a
basketball court, and a beach volleyball net. Another nice lake is in Feldkirch. Everybody refers to it as
the Hilti Lake, but on a closer look at google maps, the actual lake is next to the Hilti Loch. A bit further
away, but a lot bigger is Walensee. During my time I also visited some cities. During one of the long
weekends around May and June there was enough time to spend several days in Vienna. There is a
direct night train between Feldkirch and Vienna.


Overall, I can recommend spending an internship at the headquarters of Hilti. The application process is
straightforward and the organisation before the start of the internship is also not too hard. HR knows
about all the regulations quite well and is always happy to answer questions. It is easy to find new friends
because there is so many interns there. The area with all the mountains and lakes is nice in summer as
well as in winter

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