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Internship at ESTEC: Eating and sleeping

ESTEC is an exciting place to be and I spent here very intense half year. Lots of trainees are arriving all the time but for most it is very mysterious facility. It is always good to be prepared! According to Maslow's pyramid, roof over head and enough food is the most basic human need. So if you are the trainee here are some tips.

Sleeping 

Biggest pain was to find a decent and affordable accommodation. It's not that hard though if you know where to look. Before arrival, they sent me some recommended contacts around Noordwijk. However beware, this is probably not for you. Lots of trainees ended up staying in Noordwijk or Katwijk while it is much more pleasant live in near-by university town Leiden. That's where things are going on. 

(In fact it depends on you. Lots of things are going on in ESTEC and I personally liked to spend lots of my time in campus. However, if you like night life, Leiden is place to be. )

If you are stagier you might want to look for subrental from some other student - particularly if you stay over summer when most people leave for vacation. Start looking for roughly one month before arrival at Leiden housing group. I was staying in a nice room in a student house with 6 other students, shared kitchen, shared bathroom, 310. It was the best way to know people even outside of ESTEC. 

Eating

Don't worry, you don't have to suffer from Dutch sandwiches at ESTEC. ESTEC is a place of international tastes and the facilities well cater for 2500 hungry stomachs from all over Europe every day. There is colorful choice of cuisines. There are basically three places to eat. Main canteen have choice of 8(?) different meals, you can make your own salad, get a good soup or a desert. Then there is Launch pad, which is more private and more "splurge" - tables are smaller and you can have more private conversation with smaller group. Well, the last option is ESCAPE - during lunch they have special menu and over whole day they serve some "fast" food and snacks. But more on ESCAPE later. 

If budget is of concern (and it was for me because I received only very little support as an intern) there is no need to worry. The food is very affordable, for internal people (and on purpose I don't say staff because in terms of ESA that has particular significance), everything is half price - I was eating for prices in range from 3 to 7for a decent three course meal. So you will not have to skip the lunches with your colleages, other trainees! I grew fond of lunches and always was looking forward for that. 

If you are really in hurry, you can get a sandwich - we are in Netherlands so you always see a queue here.

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