I am a soon-to-be graduate from ISIT, the renowned Paris-based Translation and Interpreting school. I finished my MA in Intercultural Communication and Translation (CIT) a few weeks back. I am glad to share my experience and thoughts on this MA with you.
Courses and content of the MA
The main aspect of this MA is that it is not ‘just’ a translation MA. Not only do students receive solid training in translation, they are also introduced to many forms of communication (corporate, digital, etc.). The translation courses cover general, technical, legal, economic and financial and sight translation, in addition to an introduction to localisation, CAT tools and audio-visual translation. Terminology is also part of the courses, since it is essential to be aware of its role in translation. The communication and translation modules complement and enrich each other.
Plus, what makes ISIT students so unique compared to others is their intercultural background and sensitivity. The intercultural training gives us openness and a great sense of awareness of the world we live in. It helps us communicate better with people from other cultures, including through translation.
At ISIT, students spend a compulsory semester abroad to be immersed in another culture and become fluent in a language, if not already. The Erasmus is a great intercultural experience every language student should have.
If you would like another string to your bow, ISIT also offers an optional liaison interpreting course. If successful, you receive an interpreting certificate with your diploma.
At ISIT, a great deal of effort goes into converting students into skilled professionals. That’s why the MA programme is based on many team projects, especially in the 2nd year. It trains students to work in teams, for teamwork is essential in professional life. The projects are various and cover several fields of expertise: translation, project management, website creation, terminology, research, etc.
Students are also prepared for work through several workshops: CV and cover letter writing, job interview preparation, LinkedIn profile editing, etc.
Last but not least, ISIT students have to do an internship every year from the 1st to the 5th year, either in France or abroad. In the 4th year (1st year of MA), the internship lasts 3 to 4 months, and in the 5th year, students can choose between a six-month internship from March or a 12-month apprenticeship. You can also do a gap year between the 4th and 5th year.
MA or not MA?
Why would you do an MA after your BA? Well, first of all, I would say an MA is essential if you want to work in France after your studies. A BA does not have the same value in France and an MA is much appreciated.
Plus, the MA is a great transition between student and work life. It helps you specialise and gain experience with internships/apprenticeships. This experience will end up being incredibly useful when seeking a job after graduation!
Why would I recommend the ISIT MA in Intercultural Communication and Translation?
The ISIT MA offers a wide range of skills: translation, project management, communication, etc. All students have three or more active languages and courses are offered in French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Arabic. We are introduced to all types of translation, both to and from our mother tongue. We are totally prepared for employment since we know how to work in a team, what deadlines and quality translations mean, and how to use CAT tools (Trados Studio), which is a plus when applying for a job or starting out as a freelancer.
For all these reasons, I would recommend the ISIT MA. Although it requires a lot of time and commitment, it is totally worth it: it is an investment for the future.
Maëlys De Santis now works as a technical translator/localiser at Invoke, a French software editing company based in Paris. She mostly translates programs and documentation from French into English.
Please see the MA Translation and Interpreting Courses page for more reviews and details of programmes available in Europe.