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There seems to be an imbalance between the demand on the market and the language profiles which (some) schools teach.

This has two main effects I can witness on a daily basis:

  1. People trained as conference interpreters don't have a real chance to work as conference interpreters. They'd need to change their language combination, add a language or a retour. This takes years and it is likely that they will forget their interpreting technique during that time and/or simply not be able to have a day job and have enough time and energy to reach their final goal.

  2. These very same people would do roughly anything to get more practice / experience. They don't get paid assignments and don't have the feeling they have any choice when they get an offer, even if it is pro bono. The 'beggars can't be choosers' reasoning kicks in and the client dictates his conditions. Sometimes they work in cardboard booths with poor sound, sometimes they have to sleep (sic) in a youth hostel dorm. These young supposed-to-become-colleagues don't have the courage or the competence to question the clients decisions and budget when they are being told there is no money to allow for better conditions. Nor do they decline, since they feel desperate not to loose touch with the booth.

For a long time, I was blaming the client who wouldn't get that quality interpretation required minimum standards, or simply wouldn't want to pay the price. Other colleagues would be unsupportive of those who'd go and accept anything, sometimes even paying for their accommodation, just to be able to turn a mic on and continue to believe in their dream based on this short career Ersatz.

I've given it some more thought and I realized that until lately, I never had considered that schools too had their share of responsibility in creating such situations. Some of them are blatantly deceiving, by the lack of information of career prospects which is basically tantamount to misleading the students. What really awaits graduates is only unveiled during the last months of the curriculum.

To sum up, some graduates won't ever be able to get paid work. Those who do have to cope with increasing pressure coming from those who in despair are undermining working conditions. And this probably wouldn't happen if offer (thus, training) and demand were more balanced.

I know that amongst the best practices, there is this criteria set for schools:

The school and teaching faculty inform candidates before and during their studies about relevant potential employment opportunities.

Nevertheless I was wondering if this point couldn't be even more stressed in a way. Maybe informing the potential Relève a bit more about languages actually in demand?

The AIIC website says:

We also recommend that you check the following with the School or Programme you are interested in: The language combinations offered as part of the regular curriculum reflect market requirements.

But that's sure not enough for an 18 or 22 year old deciding what to study and who hasn't access to the same information an insider would have.

It seems crucial to me to warn people in due time before they spend several years believing they will one day make it as conference interpreters and then fall on their face. Could we do more about this? And how?

asked 03 Mar '14, 07:15

G%C3%A1sp%C3%A1r's gravatar image

Gáspár ♦
6.6k141829

edited 03 Mar '14, 07:29


Interesting but difficult question. I hope some of the schools chime in.

There's probably a cyclical aspect at work here: the interpreting market in Europe has taken a beating, and we're not out of the woods yet. My prediction is that 2014 will be worse than 2013 overall. Sadly, if you're a newcomer, you hardly stand a chance on the non-institutional market nowadays, unless you are 1/very gifted, and not just at interpreting, or 2/have a remarkable language combination for your local market (and that always involves a strong English B.)

Also, I think it's fair to say that schools are primarily in the business of training and graduating students. However I'm quite sure that many teachers and trainers who are practicing interpreters themselves will give anyone who's willing to listen a fair description of what the market is like. That said, I'd be interested to know how many aspiring interpreters were ready to listen and take their chances somewhere else. Never underestimate the power of denial, as they say.

Then, in Europe at least, marketable language profiles on the institutional and private markets are radically different. Interpreters with one A and multiple Cs just can't make a career on the private market only, by a long shot.

Finally, somebody needs to tell wannabees that a majority of interpreters have alternative gainful employment. When all the market can offer - even to senior interpreters with the right language profile, experience and market attitude - is 80 or so days a year, you need to supplement your income. For newcomers, I can only recommend doing as much translation work as possible. I am told that there is still a market, although generally poorly remunerated. At any rate, don't expect to be able to live off your earnings as an interpreter alone.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 09:53

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck ♦♦
3.9k193350

3

That said, I'd be interested to know how many aspiring interpreters were ready to listen and take their chances somewhere else. Never underestimate the power of denial, as they say.

I partly agree. Final year students won't believe what they are being told when you break the bad news to them, i.e. depict the market chances in an objective manner. True. But that is only because they spent four year hearing that half of the permanent staff would retire within the next thirty seconds. And no one telling them that even if that information was correct, their language combination still wouldn't make them attractive candidates for the job.

And as you're pointing out, information by professionals occurring during the final year is too little too late. By then, of course the kids want to finish their studies to at least have their diploma and go do something else. And if professionals know these facts, I'd broaden the question not only to the social responsibility of schools, but of those trainers who know what the school offers and still train unviable combinations - and which will still be unviable for the next 20 years.

It seems like professional insertion is nobody's problem in some places. Same places where senior trainers yet expect from their graduated students not to undermine their market. While they have trained these students knowing they'll end up desperate for work. That's a bit like knowingly letting the Trojan horse in and to still hope things will turn out fine.

(03 Mar '14, 11:05) Gáspár ♦

@gaspar. I very much agree. Even though it's a tough call to predict the market 5 years ahead, AIIC has an abundance of - mostly untapped - data about language pairs and language pair typologies most in demand on which markets, how they correlate with work volume and fees overall, how many AIIC suppliers there are and in what age group. And that would go a long way towards providing objective information about the market. Quite a big data crunching project, though.

(03 Mar '14, 11:19) Vincent Buck ♦♦

Gaspar thanks for posting such an important question.

Yes we can and we should do something about it. The how is more complicated.

In my opinion, the main problem has been the campaign launched by the Institutions in recent years. Thanks to the (in)famous “relève” there’s a flourish of interpretation schools all over the world. To me most of them are just money making machines caring very little about job perspectives.
I’m sure there are responsible teachers who warn students about the poor job perspectives in some markets. Although, I’m not sure the message is understood when at the same time you have important Institutions insisting on the need of hundreds of interpreters for the next few years. This was the message until recently. Who will a student believe, a well established Institution hiring thousands of interpreters per year or a teacher?

In Belgium alone there are at least 8 interpretation schools. Unless the Institutions absorb the number of graduates graduating from all schools there’s no way the private market can do it. There’s just about enough quality work – working conditions/fee- for those who are well established interpreters right now. And in some markets not even that.

You can have all the mentoring/sponsorship programs you want, but if there’s not enough quality work for everyone those programs won’t fully work.

Currently experienced interpreters with outstanding language combinations are freer than in the past, so newcomers have little chances to make it to the private market with proper working conditions/pay. That said, young talented colleagues will always be given an opportunity, but I’m not sure that will be enough.

One of the things we/AIIC could do is publish all available data collected through the years and publicise it.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 13:33

Marta%20Piera%20Marin's gravatar image

Marta Piera ... ♦
2.7k182850

To me most of them are just money making machines caring very little about job perspectives. (...) In Belgium alone there are at least 8 interpretation schools.

While I'd agree to say that apparently schools as a structure couldn't care less about graduates prospects, I fail to grasp how these publicly subsidized institutions could actually make money. They'd say that they barely break even. Is it the school boards who don't want to lay off (sic) their freelance lecturers by closing some streams, which would explain why you can still study with ENG C, ESP C into FRA A in schools that don't not have a memorandum of understanding with the UN?

(03 Mar '14, 13:58) Gáspár ♦
1

If interpretation schools keep opening up it's because there's something to gain. Sorry to be cynical. Regardless of the language combination offered, the fact of a school having a MOU with the UN won't guarantee you work once you graduate. http://aiic.net/page/6688/career-prospects-and-demographic-challenges-in-the-un-geneva-sub-sector/lang/1

(03 Mar '14, 14:18) Marta Piera ... ♦

it's because there's something to gain.

Yes, but it could be a matter of ego or politics, e.g. if University X has an interpreting course, then University Y must have one too! Depending on the reason, it can be more or less difficult to address the problem or even speak about it within the interpreting department.

MOU: Of course, I wasn't suggesting that an MOU school would get you very far professionally with those languages. But if you have that given combination and don't even attend a school with an MOU, your chances are... even worse than terrible. Yet, we have ISTI and Marie Haps in our region pouring graduates with that combination on the market.

(03 Mar '14, 14:24) Gáspár ♦

Could we do more about this? And how?

One idea that comes to my mind is setting up some kind of a database with information about employment perspectives and language profiles in demand for various A languages and various professional domiciles. There is obviously a lot of information here on interpreting.info, on other websites, message boards, social media etc., there are also language profiles in demand published by SCIC, but I think we still lack some kind of a more systematic review, which could be helpful for those who are considering embarking on the hard and so often unsuccessful journey into the world of interpreting.

Other than that? Well, whenever those interested in conference interpreting contact me with some questions, I try to provide them with honest and reliable answers, and avoid giving them false hope (while not crashing all the enthusiasm either... that's a hard balance!). As a young interpreter, I rarely get such questions - but I suppose those of you who have much more experience probably get them pretty often.

It would also be good to support somehow those graduates who do have viable language combinations but nevertheless struggle to find enough work. Information meetings? Career advice (especially on client acquisition strategies)? Some mentoring schemes? We should definitely try to do something.

Honestly, right now I feel pretty desperate myself. Despite me being always very realistic about conference interpreting job prospects, I still did not expect it to be THAT hard. A conference interpreting diploma, an EU accreditation, a not-so-bad language combination and a good dose of determination - all of that is no more than just a starting point, and not even a particularly good one. Apparently, I am just not 'in the right place at the right time' with the right languages.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 08:41

Joanna's gravatar image

Joanna
7413412

edited 03 Mar, 19:26

Hi Joanna,

It's a good idea, but even detailed statistics would not necessarily give a fair picture. And getting those statistics is very tough - people don't bother to fill out questionnaires! Two interpreters in the same city with the same languages might have very different workloads for a whole variety of reasons (quality, who they know, friends & personality clashes, luck, having started 6 months earlier etc). So do you advise for or against another person with the same language combination coming to that market?

There are some stats here, but it's by region and type of work https://aiic.net/page/3848/aiic-statshots-numbers-worth-a-thousand-words/lang/1 and it's only AIIC members. Andy

(14 Mar '14, 03:13) Andy

So do you advise for or against another person with the same language combination coming to that market?

The FR and PL booth in Brussels now (2014)require people to have 3 C languages to be considered for a test. I believe Joanna is one of those colleagues who, because of a lack of work, made the DG change it's requirements from 2 to 3 C languages.

Even in the event of a place offered on the newcomers' scheme, someone with 2 C languages and a professional competence ranked at 2.0 points after one year of experience would be less likely to be hired at the end the insertion scheme than someone entirely new with one more C language.

(14 Mar '14, 03:52) Gáspár ♦
3

There's the problem in a nutshell.... a year ago people like Joanna were being told to come to BXLs where the streets were paved with gold. Now there being told to stay away. Sudden policy changes by big employers always leave some people stranded.

"someone with 2 C languages and a professional competence ranked at 2.0 points after one year of experience would be less likely to be hired at the end the insertion scheme than someone entirely new with one more C language"

For information someone with 3 languages and 3.0 quality (so maybe 5, 10 or 20 years experience) in the nearest domicile outside BXLs is ALSO less likely to be hired as that profile gets you the same "employability" number at the Commission as a rank beginner (1.5 quality) with 2 languages in BXLs. But the locals get hired.

(14 Mar '14, 04:31) Andy

Hmm, not sure, AFAIK, the employability rating will be the same, but the likeliness to be needed with 3 languages is (if the two others are the same for both) still higher. Plus, the senior will get long term contracts. Having to live in Brussels to work for the EU on a regular basis doesn't seem to be an inconsistent policy to me. I don't fly-in my plumber from Spain, I go local. Yet I do agree with you that one shouldn't suggest to his plumber to move to Belgium if one can't give him enough work to survive.

Senior with 3 languages (1.5) + domicile proche (2) + competence (3) = 6.5

Beginner with 2 languages (1) + domicile BXL (4) + competence (1.5) = 6.5

(14 Mar '14, 06:21) Gáspár ♦

"Hmm, not sure, AFAIK, the employability rating will be the same, but the likeliness to be needed with 3 languages is (if the two others are the same for both) still higher"

In theory 6.5 = 6.5 but it is not borne out by experiences in the EN booth - not in BXLs = no work regardless of languages & quality

(14 Mar '14, 12:32) Andy

And to continue your plumber analogy... "I don't fly-in my plumber from Spain, I go local". That's all well and good when your plumber works exclusively for you. But if he has other clients in his home town? Why would he move.

And what if there aren't any plumbers in BXLs (for which read any of the post 2004 languages in the EN and FR booths)? Do you get in an electrician because you like to go local? ;)

(14 Mar '14, 13:02) Andy

So do you advise for or against another person with the same language combination coming to that market?

I suppose this is more of a general/rhetorical question but as far as my advice is concerned (and maybe someone with Polish A will use that information one day ;)): I generally say that it is hard, that one should by no means count on getting assignments from the EU because the situation of the PL booth after the presidency is difficult even for those who already have significant experience with the institutions, that a retour is a must on the Polish market (a decent retour but not necessarily of the EU quality) and that it is not easy to get established on the private market either. (I know, terribly optimistic...)

(14 Mar '14, 21:29) Joanna
2

As Gaspar says, the requirements for the PL booth have changed recently (ACCC / ABC at the moment) and from what I've seen, at the same time the number of test days for Polish As has been reduced. It's probably a step in the right (i.e. more realistic) direction. I am indeed accredited with an ACC combination. At least,I do have some chances to improve it before I will have completely forgotten what an interpreting booth looks like...

Regarding Polish A interpreters, I guess the biggest problem is, once again, the education (which nicely brings us back to the 'school's social responsibility' topic). I would say it is very rare for a Polish A to study CI with a 'three languages into Polish' combination (especially in Poland), and 'AB' CI studies still are not uncommon even though the times when such a combination would give a (young) interpreter some work with the EU are long gone. A good language combination which would give some prospects both on the national and the institutional market would probably be ABCC - but this does not go well together with the language education in Poland in general (neither at the high school nor at the university level). And we all know how hard it is to get three languages up to the C level AND to have a decent B...

(I love the plumber & electrician analogies! And I absolutely agree no statistics can give a fair picture. Still, some statistics are better than none, if conveyed (and then read) with the right amount of reservation).

(14 Mar '14, 21:30) Joanna
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

"Some of them are blatantly deceiving, by the lack of information of career prospects which is basically tantamount to misleading the students. What really awaits graduates is only unveiled during the last months of the curriculum."

Couldn't agree more! I believe that novice and experienced interpreters who could actually see their careers picking up steam, should provide some professional advice by organising workshops or seminars in schools for interpreting students.

However, I am wondering whether it might be too late anyways. The awareness campaign on the languages in demand should be carried out before students invest their savings in MA courses and, worst-case scenario, never have the chance to enter the profession or make a living on it.

"One idea that comes to my mind is setting up some kind of a database with information about employment perspectives and language profiles on demand for various A languages and various professional domiciles."

This is a good idea..What about asking for AIIC support or sponsorship for a pilot project?

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answered 03 Mar '14, 10:30

Federica's gravatar image

Federica
211116

edited 03 Mar '14, 10:30

3

I'd be happy to see and additional feature in the AIIC school directory, i.e. the percentage of recent graduates who actually are conference interpreters.

It'd require some thought to get an acceptable definition of 'recent graduate' and 'conference interpreter' (probably expressed in a certain amount of days of work or net revenue), but that would be a good indicator.

In my case for instance, 2/14 students (year 2012 graduates) and 0/7 (2013) can life off interpreting. That's 85% to 100% of students who did not make it on the market (yet?). Not because the general level of training wasn't on par, but because almost anyone can get admitted, no matter his/her combination.

(03 Mar '14, 11:26) Gáspár ♦
5

We (AIIC Training) are a fraction ahead of you all there, but it's good to know we are having the right ideas. A new pair of questions is in the process of being added to the AIIC Schools Directory already. They will read something like... "How many graduates were there in year X"; "How many were still working as conference interpreters in year X + 5?"

(06 Mar '14, 16:39) Andy

Hi @Andy, I was just wondering if AIIC has implemented those questions regarding professional insertion of each school's graduates, or has any relevant stats? I'm about to start a CI program this fall (ESIT) and have yet to figure out the average % of its graduates that can make a living off CI within a few years of graduation.

(24 Apr '15, 19:51) permfmt

Hi permfmt, if you get the ESIT diploma with EN A, FR C, RU C, you should be on the safe side. Some UN applicants tend to focus so much on their RU that they don't make it because of their FR, but since you'll spend 2 to 3 years in Paris, that issue shouldn't concern you. Best of luck!

(27 Apr '15, 07:30) Gáspár ♦

@Gaspar, I just noticed your response - thank you! I'm glad you think my chances with Fr/Ru C from ESIt are reasonable. I just keep hearing pessimistic things about the market and have to hope I do end up able to make a living at the UN or another institution :/

(07 May '15, 11:33) permfmt

There could be another way of putting the question of whether your graduates are still working: why not (also) ask what number of your graduates are working in/accredited with International Organizations, listing the relevant IOs? After all, a person can make very different livings on the private market doing all sorts of things, but your living and mine could be two different things. Also, it is harder to keep track of than the number of people who have actually either passed an exam or had a work day in a specific IO.

(01 Nov '15, 16:38) JuliaP
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

... a very relevant issue indeed, Gaspar :-).

Schools could indeed do more, but is it reasonable to expect them to... and so should we, but can we?

It may well be unreasonable to expect schools to turn away candidates whose aptitude results validate their suitability, on the strenght of language combination "alone", when schools have the trainers required... and must turn a profit to boot.

Some regions already do their bit (as do many trainers) by organising "open days" and visits to schools where they address students... but the latter only serves to enlighten parties who're already committed to a course of studies, with whatever language combination they do have.

It would probably be daydreaming to believe that we stand a fighting chance of convincing schools to tap aiic regions in their geographies for candid advice as to the market prospects of candidates' language combinations, to be given up front to either candidates or the schools themselves; moreover, many training courses are partly funded by international organisations, whose language needs do not necessarily dovetail with those felt in the regional geographies where the schools find themselves... which of course does not exempt the former from "having to deal" with graduates who stay on locally.

So what CAN we do? Perhaps "more of the same" is what one may realistically expect... perhaps also looking into more pointed, albeit still non-binding, MOs for institutional advice, perhaps even incorporated into our agreements... with the same organisations whose interpretation departments are involved in the funding of some courses? This would allow us to capitalise on internal sinergies... and enhance aiic's status, both globally and regionally.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 09:08

msr's gravatar image

msr
4.6k6923

Some regions already do their bit (as do many trainers) by organising "open days" and visits to schools... but the latter only serves to enlighten parties who're already committed to a course of studies

If you address masters students, it'll be too late indeed. Yet some schools which are legally bound to admit any student into their masters course generally also have a bachelors degree in T&I. Maybe targeting those students, before they consider doing a masters in conference interpreting would be an idea. But how popular within the school? I'm quite naive and unaware of the political consequences if a school were not to have any students in some streams.

(03 Mar '14, 11:19) Gáspár ♦
1

I study Translation and Interpreting and I've had the chance to listen to a couple of EU staff interpreters. It was one of our teachers who organized the visits, though, not the university. Still, and although I loved hearing what they had to say, we were never told about the poor chances of becoming interpreters we had. They focused more on telling us what the job of an interpreter was in the institutions, how they worked, how they prepared, how missions were like... And they did read the list of language profiles in demand. But I left with the feeling that, if I made sure my EN and FR were solid and I learned German, the EU would hire me. Now, I have no idea if that's true, but reading threads like these... it doesn't seem so.

And it is hard to hear you have no chance of working as an interpreter, of course it is; but I'd rather hear it now, before I've wasted several years and an incredible amount of money on training, than being told the last month of the Masters. And nobody at uni is telling us that. No wonder people refuse to believe it. No wonder we're all so confused!

(22 Nov '14, 11:20) Eztizen

I very much like the idea of AIIC colleagues organising workshops at the universities. In Cologne, the revised MA programme includes a course on how to manage an interpreting job, and this is where representatives of both VKD/BDÜ and AIIC are invited. Last year, there were two of us from the AIIC-DE profitability working group, and we were given the chance to explain some of the entrepreneurial basics (what are my costs including pensions and risk provisions, how much do I need to charge per day in order to be profitable, how many hours/days can I work at all per year). I think letting the numbers speak is a real eye-opener and actually, I do have the impression that young colleagues nowadays leave the univerities much better prepared than I did 14 years ago. If they know the maths, at least they can make a qualified decision on acceptable fees, minimum turnover needed and whether "other gainful employment" is strategically advisable or not. Combining statistics and economics might to the trick even better, so we will definitely consider this next time.

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answered 03 Apr '14, 04:55

Anja's gravatar image

Anja
563

I do have the impression that young colleagues nowadays leave the universities much better prepared than I did 14 years ago.

On the downside, I have the feeling that there are more graduates and more schools since the "all-interpreters-are-retiring" story got to the media. In the meanwhile, the private market demand drops (or at least in Belgium it does). Hence, there is more competition, less chances to be hired directly on a regular basis by a former trainer, etc.

That is why I believe that giving to-be interpreters as much information as they can get is important. Let them know if they really want or can do the job and make a living. In this regard, AIIC-DE seems to do the right thing! Thanks for sharing your experience, Anja.

(03 Apr '14, 05:17) Gáspár ♦

Are there so-called good and bad interpreting schools? For example, are there some that are the Ivy League of interpreting schools and some that are considered low-tier schools that should basically be avoided? I've heard that ETI, ESIT and ISIT are the best. Also, is there really that much demand for interpreters that new schools keep opening up? For example, in the past two years, two schools started offering a CI degree: York University in Toronto and U. of Maryland.

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answered 21 Nov '14, 12:18

Myra45's gravatar image

Myra45
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are the Ivy League of interpreting schools

Good schools generally have entrance exams and are based in cities where interpreters work. Schools without an entrance exam don't attract the best students. Schools not based near interpreting markets don't attract the best trainers. An interesting read is AIIC's Conference interpreting training programmes best practice: http://aiic.net/page/60

Also, is there really that much demand for interpreters that new schools keep opening up?

Not all graduates make it as conference interpreters, so no. Or phrased differently: there is a constant need for highly qualified interpreters. But only a few graduates have the right skills and languages to be able to make it on the market. There's both a quantitative (too many graduates) and a qualitative (poorly trained or not trained with the right languages) problem.

(21 Nov '14, 16:58) Gáspár ♦

You forgot about the second criteria, trainers. Paris and Geneva are big interpreting markets. Brussels too, but Belgian schools don't have compulsory entrance exams.

New courses need a few years of time to show their quality (e.g. Glendon which was started only 2 or 3 years ago).

(22 Nov '14, 04:11) Gáspár ♦
1

Opening new schools isn't only to spin more money - in some cases it serves the local market. For example, the Washington DC area hasn't had an interpreting school for a long time, and has a need for trained interpreters in certain language combinations. So the U of MD program was started, with a lot of support from the State Department. And they don't teach every language combination under the sun, just the ones that are in demand for the local market.

(22 Nov '14, 17:27) JuliaP
3

Myra said : "However, not all of them have representatives from IOs or other recruiters during final exams. Still, isn't there some sort of a hierarchy of schools?"

Hi Myra, AIIC sets out what we feel are the absolutely essential criteria a school should meet (the 6 points listed at the top of the AIIC Schools Best Practice page Gaspar mentioned above). Schools that meet those criteria may appear in the Schools Directory where they are compared against a longer list of more detailed criteria. (A green tick = meets criterion; red cross = doesn't meet)

It is not possible to rank schools for lots of reasons. 1. For example how do you rank Newcastle in the UK which only teaches ZH-EN against Zurich which teaches a variety of European languages. 2. Some of AIIC's criteria cannot be met for legal reasons in some countries. 3. A school might be brilliant for combinations with German but less good for Chinese. How do you rank that school against a school that is quite good across all languages?

The best thing for prospective students to do is 1. judge the school on AIIC's general Best Practice criteria (including whether trainers for your languages are conf. interpreters and native speakers) AND 2. its reputation for YOUR language combination. (And 3. - as mentioned above but not to do with the quality of the school - whether it offers you an entry into a good local market. Teacher recruit and recommend good ex-students!)

(23 Nov '14, 03:04) Andy

ps Myra. I think that question is worth being a question in its own right. A lot of people are probably asking themselves the same thing and they won't find your question and these answers hidden away in this thread. If you repost it as a separate question I will certainly repost my answer and I'm sure the others will as well. Andy

(23 Nov '14, 03:09) Andy

Can the site administrator repost it as a separate question and paste the answers given so far as well?

(23 Nov '14, 11:15) Myra45

I've sent them a note in case they're not following this thread A

(23 Nov '14, 12:49) Andy

New question has been added. Thanks to the admins!

(23 Nov '14, 14:19) Andy
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

However, not all of them have representatives from IOs or other recruiters during final exams. Still, isn't there some sort of a hierarchy of schools?

Hi Myra, AIIC sets out what we feel are the absolutely essential criteria a school should meet (the 6 points listed at the top of the AIIC Schools Best Practice page Gaspar mentioned above). Schools that meet those criteria may appear in the Schools Directory where they are compared against a longer list of more detailed criteria. (A green tick = meets criterion; red cross = doesn't meet)

It is not possible to rank schools for lots of reasons. 1. For example how do you rank Newcastle in the UK which only teaches ZH-EN against Zurich which teaches a variety of languages. 2. Some of AIIC's criteria cannot be met for legal reasons in some countries. 3. A school might be brilliant for combinations with German but less good for Chinese. How do you rank that school against a school that is quite good across all languages?

The best thing for prospective students to do is 1. judge the school on AIIC's general Best Practice criteria (including whether trainers for your languages are conf. interpreters and native speakers) AND 2. its reputation for YOUR language combination.

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answered 23 Nov '14, 03:03

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Andy
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