ISIT 2013, China
What did you study prior to starting ISIT?
I really became aware of my interest in foreign languages during my last year of high school. After earning my high school degree specializing in science, I enrolled on a language studies course at the University of Nantes, with English and Chinese as my languages. I was very interested in Asian cultures, and learning Mandarin was a discovery that I continued to explore during a semester abroad in Shanghai in my third year. With my degree in hand, I left for a year’s stay in China to perfect my Chinese, before enrolling at ISIT to pursue a master’s degree.
Since my Licence, I’ve chosen courses based on how much they will help me improve my Chinese. I look at what the program offers in terms of language skills and if they can be applied in a professional context. I figured I would become a translator, so ISIT seemed the logical choice, given its specialized curriculum and reputation.
Why did you choose to pursue a dual degree with BLCU (Beijing Language and Culture University)?
I happened to be a student at ISIT when the agreement with BLCU was finalized, which meant I had the opportunity to be a member of the first graduate class for the dual degree.
When the opportunity to continue my master’s studies in Beijing was presented, it did not take long for me to make up my mind, especially considering my professional goals. It’s pretty unusual to graduate with two master’s degrees, and I’m grateful to ISIT and BLCU for making that possible.
Students are selected based on a series of written and verbal exams in translation and interpreting. In my opinion, the best part about it is that any student with the right level can be admitted, there is no limit on the number of students accepted.
What’s the program like?
It surpassed all my expectations, both on an academic and personal level.
- Just look at the quality of the equipment we had access to: classrooms with actual, integrated interpreter booths and an American-style campus.
- In my opinion, what makes the dual program a success is the quality of the classes. The School of Translation and Interpreting (STI) at BLCU is made up of working translation and interpreting professionals who. These working professionals use their networks to regularly give students the opportunity to complete short translation and interpreting missions outside the classroom.
- On a personal level, the program helped me grow not only in terms of maturity and experience, but also gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting people, including students and professionals from many different backgrounds.
What are your plans for after ISIT?
I can’t imagine my future without China in it. At the moment, I see myself becoming an international mediator between France and China. The fact that China is still an emerging country means that through my experience, I have access to many different fields, in the private sector for internationally-focused companies as well as in the public sector, especially embassies.
As for the future, it is important not to jump into anything too quickly. I still have a final internship to finish to complete my degree, which gives me time to consider the opportunities that come my way and make the choice that best reflects my personal and professional interests.
Advice for candidates and future ISIT students?
- I think you have to give yourself the means to achieve your goals, which always implies hard work. For candidates entering ISIT or the dual degree program with BLCU, the preparation process is quite similar. Everyone will say that you have to develop your general knowledge and deepen your language skills, but also remember to keep up-to-date on current affairs and the world you live in so you have a better overall intercultural understading.
- More generally, identify one or several areas to be developed based on what you need to learn, or at least where you know you have gaps in knowledge.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, set objectives for yourself and do your best to meet them. It will help you in your studies, but also prepare you for the demands of the working world.