Thursday, 14 May 2015

Revised future plans

After having spoken with various interpreters and language specialists, my ideas for the next few years have changed somewhat (my previous post can be found here). I have been advised that working as a language assistant abroad post-degree is a really good idea, as you get a stable job that is recognised, and plenty of opportunities to be a part of the school environment, offer extra classes or develop the job how you want to. Staying for two years is encouraged, which would also give me the chance to up my German to a B-language (where I can interpret into it, not just from it), which is important in today's market.

Because I am picking up Russian from scratch, I will need to spend a considerable amount of time on Russian courses to get my language skills up to the required level. Here are the available opportunities during my degree to spend time abroad (remember this is all rather hypothetical):

French speaking, German speaking, Russian speaking, UK

Gap year: 10 months in Belgium, 2 in Austria
1st year: 1 month at Christmas, 1 month at Easter, 4 months in summer
2nd year: 1 month, 1 month, 3 months in summer
3rd year: 9 months study, 4 months in summer
4th year: 1 month, 1 month, 4 months
Lang assistant: 24 months
Masters in interpreting: 24 months

I'm imagining spending the Christmas holidays in the UK, as obviously at uni I will not see much of my family and friends. The Easter holidays are a good opportunity to go abroad for a language course, especially as they are not long before the exams - there are many Russian courses within the EU (i.e. you don't need to get a visa or change your money out of Euros), for example I have found courses in Russian-majority cities in Latvia which look perfect.

Seeing as the language assistantship could give me 24 months in a German-speaking environment, and hopefully my Masters will be in Paris, I will have a good 24 months in a French-speaking environment, this leaves my holidays for practicing Russian, with maybe a bit of French. Of course, I will finish my Masters at the age of 27(!), but it is worth saying that nobody starts interpreting at 21 - you need enough experience with the languages, as well as with the practical.

The year abroad is of particular note - I can get a 9 month placement in a Russian university, which I would like to take because it is the only time where I will be able to go to Russia under a proper scheme which is partly funded. I will have the summer before to go to Belgium or another French-speaking place, and the summer afterwards to un-forget my German. That will be quite a multilingual year!

This will leave me with a total of 37 months in French-speaking places, 34 for German, and 16 for Russian.

This is the plan for the moment, as ever, very subject to change...!

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