On 6 October SCIT students had their first virtual conference with the European Commision. Predictably, the first virtual class was devoted to the issues of autonomous learning and preparation for interpretation. The class was conducted by Paolo Torrigiani, Senior Expert Multilingualism and Knowledge Development Unit DG Interpretation European Commission, developed a very intensive program for the conference, covering such aspects as basic principles of self-training and learning management, key factors of a successful training session, as well as practice in organizing a self-training session. Each group of students presented their version of the self-training session, followed by the feedback session. The conference gave the students a useful insight into the effectiveness of their autonomous learning techniques and showed the ways to improve it. We thank Paolo Torrigiani and Fernando Leitao, Head of the E-learning Unit, for organizing this useful activity!
On the last days of September SCIT celebrated the International Translation Day. On 29 September we held the long-awaited diploma awarding ceremony for the 2021 graduates. Even though only 5 people were able to attend in person, the warm greetings and wishes of a successful professional life were addressed to all graduates. The new students were not guests, but full-fledged participants of the festivities. They prepared an “home-concert”, amusing everyone present with the fun-facts about themselves and a curious “who said it” quiz.
On 30 September the festivities continued in Herzen University’s Discussion Club. There a Translator Recital was organized, where the participants recited the poetry of the aspiring young poets of Europe, and presented their work done as a part of Sergey Stepanov’s seminar at Herzen University, or Anna Savitskaya’s seminar at the Swedish House in St. Petersburg. The concert participants were greeted by Andrey Maksimov, Head of the Committee for Science and Higher Education in the Government of Saint-Petersburg, and Sergey Tarasov, Acting Rector of Herzen University, Andrey Achkasov, Dirctor of the Institute of Foreign Languages, Herzen University, and Irina Alexeeva, SCIT Director. A lot of participants were able to join virtually. Everyone present enjoyed the recital.
On 2-4 September Vladivostok hosted the Eastern Economic Forum, a major international event, that would not have taken place without interpreters. Among those who facilitated the communication among the participants was a big team of SCIT trainers and graduates – Zhanna Shuklina, Alexey Pago, Oxana Yakimenko, Anastasia Gavrilina, Elena Zheltova, Sofia Chantseva, Anna Sazonova. Taking into account the topicality of the Far East and the Arctic for Russia’s foregin and home policy one can’t overestimate the importance of the plenaries and discussions on the margins. Our interpreteers worked at the plenaries as well as at the international APEC conference on higher education and Sber’s interactive session on the ESG investment opportunities in Russia. We are sure that the SCIT team showed the highest professional standards and were among the best.
On 14-17 September the University of Granada hosted the annual General Assembley of CIUTI, as well as the conference of the member institutions. CIUTI is a large educational association comprising above 60 universities from more than 20 countries all around the globe, and Herzen University with its two programs, IFL and SCIT, has been its member since 2018.
The agenda included a lot of important issues: how to maximize the efficiency of the cooperation among the member universities, the enlargement of the organization, the elections of the CIUTI Conseil, planning the CIUTI work for 2022-2023. The decision was made to put more efforts in building up the organization’s presence on the African continent in the Asia-Pacific region, to develop the Resource section of the CIUTI site to help its members vary the teaching materials, and strengthen the ties with the international organizations like the European Commision, European Parliament, and the UN.
The events took place in the hybrid format, and SCIT was represented by Angelique Antonova, SCIT Deputy Director.
On 9 September SCIT took part in teh EMCI General Assembly. The school is proud to hold the place in this consortium of 16 prestigious European universities. The agenda included various issues: the report on the 2020-2021 QA EMCI project, planning the work of the consortium in 2021-2022, introducing changes in the consortium statutes allowing for the SISU to become an observer to EMCI, and voting for the platform to ensure the virtual interpreter training. Of the five options the choice was made in favour of Interprefy which can be efficiently used for the training purposes. The observers at the General Assambley were Javier Hernandez Saseta, Head of Multilingualism and Interpreter Training Support Unit, and Fernando Leitao, Head of the E-Learning Unit, DG Interpretation (EC), and Cathie Pierson, Head of Multilingualism Unit in the European Parliament. SCIT was represented by Angelique Antonova, SCIT Deputy Director.
SCIT trainer Zhanna Shuklina conducted a training seminar for the interpreters of Novolipetsk steel plant, NLMK Group. The participants have very different backgrounds and experience in interpreting, and the trainer developed a customer-tailored training program to meet their personal goals and the specificity of the plant’s industrial activities. Zhanna organized the seminar in alignment with the most recent developments in interpreter training approved by the international organizations. The classes included a lot of exercises and discussions, and were aimed, among other things, at developing the skills of critical analysis and assessment of one’s own and colleagues’ performance. The participants received certificates, and expressed sincere gratitude to Zhanna Shuklina.
On 1 September SCIT celebrated the commencement of the new academic year.
Irina Alexeeva, SCIT Director, welcomed the new students with such words, “You will face difficulties, but you’de better overcome them with a smile. You will turn different people in a year’s time. Today is the first day on the way of serious changes, but for it to happen you have to put in your own efforts. Any quality education, and not in the field of translation only, is self-education. We have come to this world with the only purpose – to learn it and one’s own place in it, and such self-discovery is the discovery of the world”.
The new students were welcomed by Nikolay Lukichev, the Counselor of the Russian MFA in St. Petersburg, and by the trainers Yury Shashkov and Sergey Afonin. They wished the novices to successfully start on the new stage in their personal development and strengthen the group community. The trainers remarked that the more effort would go into the training, the less stressful the professional life would be in the future.
Angelique Antonova, SCIT Deputy Director, underlined, “Your professional success will depend not on the knowledge you will acquire, but largely on how united you will be as a collective, how good you will be for each other as colleagues and friends “.
SCIT’s recent graduates and the trainers now engaged at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok greeted the new students, as well the graduates from previous years from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and even New York. Alexander Pankov, Herzen University graduate and presently editor at the Russian Verbatim Reports Section at UNHQ, told the newcomers about the work and possible internships in the UN in the UN. The all stressed that the School years gave knowledge as well as close friends and reliable colleagues. Angelina Pavlova, this year’s graduate, wished the new cohort a productive year, to support each other in any adversity and to lose no time at SCIT.
On 6-12 July a module on institutional translation was organized for the Herzen-SCIT students by the Russian Section of the Verbatim Reports Service, UNHQ. This module is a part of the students’ internship, which was held distantly by Reviser Alexander Pankov. During the classes the students performed translations of the actual UN texts and discussed the results. Being a reviser, Alexander was very particular about the quality of the translation, trying to achieve clarity, accuracy and stylistic unity. The students had homework, which helped to make the classes really intensive. One of the tasks was to identify the imperfections and inaccuracies in the translations done by other people, and it was a good reviser’s practice for the students. In general, the students found this module very useful, and would like to keep on studying with Alexander.
From 28 June SCIT students started their internship program. The first internship module comprises intensive institutional interpretation classes with Kirill Kasyanov, head of the Russian Interpratation Section at UNON. This module has become a consolidation of the institutoinal interpreting skills acquired by the students during the distant master-classes with Mr. Kasyanov in the spring term at SCIT. Mr. Kasyanov’s visit provided the students with the opportunity to meet their mentor in person, ask questions about the work at the UN, and go through many new UN speeches in the booth. Despite a busy week, which included also the conference for the Russian MFA representatives and the first days of the internship at the translation agencies, the students enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to learn from such an experienced UN interpreter as Kirill Kasyanov and heartily thanked him for the lessons.
On 16 June a Russia-US Summit took place in Geneva. We are proud that the talks between President Vladimir Putinand President Joe Biden, as well as the following press-conference of Russia’s President, were interpreted by SCIT graduates. The colleagues, including Americans, were unanimous in their high evaluation of the job done by our graduates. Congratualations to Daria Mandrova, Kirill Kazakov and Elizaveta Myshenkova! Well-done!