LINCS students go to Brussels!

On the 6th and 7th of June, 11 of our M.A. and MSc students who specialise in conference interpreting were welcomed at the EU Commission by EU interpreters from the Directorate General for Interpretation.

This 2-day visit, which LINCS was able to secure thanks to its status as DGI-SCIC university partner, was hosted by Joanne O’Donnell, from the English and Irish Unit. Joanne visited our Heriot-Watt campus earlier this week as part of one of the pedagogical assistance visits LINCS secured for the 2022-2023 academic year, and she is herself a graduate from our M.A. programme.

As part of this visit, our students had a chance to get some valuable insight into the life of EU interpreters and receive detailed information on the new accreditation test procedures which have been introduced, thanks to a talk by the Head of Unit. The visit also included a preparatory session, looking at how EU interpreters work in the run-up to a specific assignment, and then students were able to put their preparation to the test during the meeting, working from dummy booths.

This fantastic opportunity enabled them to listen to professional interpreters at work during a live event; they were also able to practice interpreting off-mic and benefitted from valuable feedback from the team of EU interpreters who were on hand to support them. The visit culminated with a mock test, during which two of our final-year M.A. students volunteered to take a test in conditions similar to the ones they would encounter in authentic conditions, but with the added bonus of being able to hear the jury deliberations. This exciting challenge gave them an insight into what is expected of successful candidates, and they were able to put their 4 years of training to the test. Both students were delighted to hear that their performance would earn them a “pass” in test conditions, and left even more motivated than before.

But the real added bonus of the visit was undoubtedly the friendly welcome extended to the group, and the many opportunities to chat informally and network with DGI-SCIC interpreters and interns, and with several of our LINCS graduates. One of them has recently passed the tests himself, and was very happy to share his experience and some useful tips over lunch in between meetings, and over Belgian chips after his day in the booth, alongside other local LINCS graduates. A very inspiring 2-day visit, perfectly timed to motivate our M.A. students who found out their exam results the night before the start of the visit!