First of all, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for this coming year. I hope it will bring you and your students great learning opportunities!
Maybe this French proverb could inspire you: “les voyages forment la jeunesse“, which could be translated into English as “travel broadens the mind“.
This is particularly true for our languages skills, since going abroad broadens your horizons, opens your mind, but also puts you in a situation where you have to speak the language of the host country. No escape!
Language teachers know this. They see how their students are progressing when they have the chance to participate in international academic exchanges, don’t they?
When you are travelling simply as a tourist you might get away with just speaking a few words, or using English even though you are in, say Paris or Berlin. But there are 3 main situations where you are forced to improve your linguistic skills when abroad: when you have to study, work, or love.
There are no European programmes that can apply to the third situation I’m afraid.
But what about traineeship, in the EU? That could be an interesting experience for your students, once they have finished university. This could give them a chance to live abroad and learn from this experience, not just about the professional field work in which they will work, but also about the language they will have to use.
At European Commission, we offer such traineeships. If you want to learn about the eligibility criteria, have a look at this page (specific rules for translation traineeships under Who can apply?).
At the end of last year, Helga joined us as a trainee, here, at the DG Translation of the European Commission. And I’m pleased to be able to give you today her feedback about such an interesting experience. I hope this will inspire you. Enjoy the reading.
I’m Helga and I come from a nice university town, the ‘city of the sunshine’, Szeged, in Hungary. I’m interested in language learning since my early childhood. I started to learn English when I was eight years old and French when I was nine. I continued language learning in a bilingual French-Hungarian high school where we learned History, Maths and Geography in French. After high school I enrolled in law school. I spent one year in Marseille, France as a European volunteer with the main purpose of developing my language skills and also discovering a new culture, living and working in a multicultural environment. My dream was to live and work abroad, specially for an institution of the European Union. This year I spent five months as a trainee of the legal unit of the Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission and now I’m helping the work of the Juvenes Translatores team. My experience at the Commission strengthened my wish to pass the competitions and become an official of the European institutions. I really think that language learning is a lifelong process and it the knowledge of foreign languages helped me a lot during my life.
I wish a very happy new year to everybody!
Nagyon boldog új évet kívánok mindenkinek!