If you want to become a translator or an interpreter, an internship in EU is one of the best things for your carrier. If you’d like to work as a translator or an interpreter for an EU institution one day, such an internship is simply a must – it will open all the doors for you.
If you’d like to try out interpreting but don’t have time (or anything else that is needed) to go for longer internships, one of the great options is Model EU. The approximately one week long Model takes place in Strasbourg and simulates EU law-making processes and debates. You can apply here (usually from beginning of December until first half of January) and you have the choice to apply for the position of an MP, a minister, a lobbyist, a journalist and an interpreter. As an interpreter, you may try out all the interpreting modes but first and foremost will be doing conference (simultaneous) interpreting.
You must have English as your B language, other languages are not required (but are welcomed:). You should be a student or a graduate of Translation and Interpreting Studies.
European Parliament: Translation traineeships for university graduates
EU Parliament offers 3-month traineeships for those who already have a degree in Translation and Interpreting (Bachelor’s is enough, so go for it, Master’s students!). As a translation trainee you’d work in Luxemburg and get a monthly scholarship. Traineeship periods are: January – March (apply before 15 August), April – June (apply before 15 November), July – September (apply before 15 February), October – December (apply before 15 May).
If you agree with our Department beforehand, you may get credits for this traineeship. If you apply for the summer period or for the period starting from January, you should be able to work out your schedule without having to repeat your subjects and still graduate on time!
To apply, you should be able to translate into and from 2 official languages of the EU (other than your mother tongue).
European Commission: Translation traineeships
The traineeships in Commission are a lot longer than those in the Parliament. The Commission offers 5-month long traineeships from October until February or from March until July. If you manage to get in, you will receive a monthly grant.
As you can see, a traineeship in the Commission is a lot more time-consuming and cannot be so easily fitted into an academic year. You may have to work out a special agreement with the Department or be prepared to prolong your studies. I would recommend applying for this internship after graduating – and using it as your first real-life and full-time job experience.
If you’d like to apply, you again need to speak (perfectly, of course, you are translators!) 2 official languages of the EU (other than your mother tongue) and your first source language must be English, French or German (so no problem if you are one of our students :).
Other interesting traineeship offers for linguists
You can find all the traineeships that the EU institutions offer to linguistis in general here. Choose carefully, not all of them are targeted specifically at translators but rather university graduates in general. I however strongly believe that a traineeship in any EU institution will help your career in the EU.