I would like to have opinions about the MA in Conference Interpreting offered by Leeds University. Although it is listed on aiic.net as meeting the basic criteria, I was wondering whether it is equivalent to those offered at ETI or ESIT?
Also, what about the MA offered at Université de Mons?
All I can tell you, as a colleague who practices conference interpretation but also puts together teams of interpreters for my clients, is that I would fully trust a graduate from ETI or ESIT, whereas I've never heard of the Leeds diploma and would definitely need to hear a Leeds graduate in a dummy booth first.
answered 13 Jan '13, 05:02
I spent ten years as a trainer at the University of Leeds, so my opinion is inevitably subjective.
Let me start with a few facts, instead of opinion.
Reputation is a slippery concept. A course could be brilliant but some of the students might not be suited to interpreting; or a course may not be very well run or taught, but might attract naturally talented students. All I can say based on my (biased, as I mentioned) knowledge, is that in my opinion a Leeds diploma is no less valued by those in the know than a diploma from, e.g. Bath, and better regarded than a diploma from one of the many other courses that have sprung up in the UK.
However, from a financial point of view it makes MUCH more sense for you to study in France or Belgium. You will also get a two year course, instead of one, which allows you more time to develop your simultaneous technique. Your English would improve no end during a year in the UK, but I also think you are much better off studying in France or Belgium as a French A, given the typical composition of the groups at Leeds - unless, of course, you are trying to develop an English B.
But it really depends what your ambitions are and what market you are aiming at, and Gaspar has covered that question very comprehensively.
Leeds got a bit more known since Westminster stopped offering CI courses. It is a UK School, which means that there are only a few CI classes per week. They only start sim in January, while Bath does boths sim and consec from the beginning of the academic year. Mons being a Belgian school, the amount of hours spent practicing sim and consec per week is likely to be much higher.
Mons is close to the European institutions and NATO. A great opportunity to do dummy booth practice at the NATO HQ. You get to meet and mingle with students from other CI schools which adds a nice touch too.
From what I hear from senior colleagues and trainers regarding the quality of the courses and/or global reputation, the ranking would be about this:
ISIT Paris > ESIT or ETI > Bath or Mons > Leeds
(Don't throw stones at me if you don't agree, we could talk about this for hours and I'm merely repeating what I've heard from my mentors. Which doesn't mean they're always right, but regarding their achievements and experience in teaching, I blindly trust their judgment.)
But this again depends on your personality: At ISIT you have less than 5 hours of tutored CI practice a week. It needs a lot of discipline to work without tutoring.
If money matters, Mons is probably the less expensive option, since rents there are lower than in Paris and Geneva and the tuition fee is below 1.000€. Maybe even around 400€/year for the regular masters.
Leeds and Bath courses are one year courses. ISIT/ESIT Paris, ETI and Mons are two-year masters (but often, students needs three years to be good enough to meet the expectations of theirs schools, this seems to be especially true for ISIT).
One last thing: On which market will you work (i.e. what is your language combination?) ? I should have started it that actually. There'd be even more to say once you provide us with that information. :)
For what it's worth, both schools are recognised by the German association of conference interpreters, VKD: http://konferenzdolmetscher-bdue.de/de/ausbildungsliste
answered 06 Dec '12, 04:05
Thank you very much for your answers!
My language combination is FR (A), EN (C), SP (C).
I have been looking into Belgian schools and three came up regularly : ISTI and Marie Haps in Brussels and Mons. Which school would you say has the best reputation?
I know ETI and ESIT are quite reknown but I am not aware of the quality of the Belgian ones.
answered 13 Jan '13, 09:08
I was considering studying a masters in interpreting in Mons as I think it may be slightly easier (only very slightly easier) to get onto the Mons masters than the Paris and Geneva masters.
However, my mother tongue is English, I speak French and Spanish fluently. Is it possible to stay at a French speaking university like Mons, if my mother tongue is not French? (I would work a lot on my French to perfect it in all areas before I even started to apply)
Is Mons easier to get into than Paris or Geneva?
answered 04 Mar '15, 22:37