SCIT welcomes delegation from Dalian

2 October 2023|

On 26 October SCIT welcomed a delegation from Dalian University which came to Herzen university.  A visit to SCIT was only a part of their extensive programme in the university. Short though it was, the meeting was very productive. Deputy director Angelique Antonova told the guests about SCIT’s activities and the experience of the joint program with Geneva university. Both parties agreed that it can serve as an examlpe for future cooperation with Dalian university.  The head of the delegation Rector Lu Hung confirmed that both teachers and students from DAlian are interested in SCIT’s expertise in training language specialists. We hope that the meeting will give an impetus to new interesting projects with Dalian.

SCIT starts new academic year

6 September 2023|

On 4 September SCIT started a new academic year. At the opening ceremony there were present Rector Sergey Tarasov, Vice-Rector for International Affairs Dmitry Mereshkin, MFA Representative in St. Petersburg Igor Demianenko, SCIT administration, trainers, SCIT students and grasduates. In the welcoming word Rector Tarasov stressed the importance of translators and interpreters’ work  for maintaining a meaningful dialogue in scientific and humanitarian cooperation and wished the students all the success in mastering the profession. Mr. Demianenko, in his turn,  spoke about the substantial contribution of interpreters to the making of today’s system of international relations, in the historical perspective and in the present times. The guests wished the students a productive year of studies and moral and physical strength to cope with all the challenges. At the end of the day there was a traditional tea party and an informal chat, where the new students got to know the trainers and graduates a little better.  They learned about the School traditions and got some useful tips.

SCIT holds a seminar for UN interpreters with Russian

13 July 2023|

From 7 to 14 July 2023 SCIT holds a seminar Institutional Interpreting from Russian for interpreters from international organizations. The purpose of the seminar was to familiarize those working with the Russian language with the topical political lexis in Russian to speak about Russia’s home and foreign policy at present and in the recent past. Among the participants are the interpreters from  the UN Headquarters in New York, UN Offices in Vienna and Geneva. The trainers all teach at SCIT, and are practising interpreters themselves.

At the seminar the participants will dwell on such challenging issues as contextual and polysemantic lexis, the basic concepts of the Decree on State Policy in Strengthening Russia’s Traditional Values, lexis and narratives of Russia’s home and foreign policy. The trainees will practice interpreting Russia’s high-profile officials with a strong evaluative component as well.

Seminars such as this have been organized by SCIT several times before. Now the distant learning mode allows to expand the number and geography of participants. We deem this seminar very timely as interpreters from Russian play an important role in how our country is perceived abroad. We hope the seminar will contribute to better understanding among the nations of the world.

Final conference for graduates 2023

4 July 2023|

Mock conferences are an inseparable part of the training process at SCIT. Starting October, students take part in weekly mock conferences. As a rule, these conferences are devoted to topical issues of international affairs  and are based on actual working scenarios. All in all,  there were 33 mock conferences in 2022/23. But among these there is one conference which stands out and requires special preparation on the part of the students. This is the conference for the Russian MFA representatives. This year Herzen university welcomes Sergey Gritsay, Head of the Linguistic Support department in the Russian MFA, and Vladimir Kuznetsov, Head of the UN Information Centre in Moscow.  The purpose of their visit is to assess the students’ level of preparation and estimate the potential candidates for the jobs with the Russian MFA or the UN. The topic for the conference was chosen carefully: Russian Foreign Policy as a set of mutually reinforcing engagements. Multiple vectors of the Russian foreign policy are high on the political agenda today, and the speeches at the conference touched upon various issues of the problem.  The students worked both consecutively and simultaneously showing their skill in all their lanuage combinations. Let us hope they keep the SCIT quality standards up high and will deserve the hard earned praise from the MFA official. A job offer will be even better!

The representatives of the translation agencies AKM-Vest and Roid also attended the conference. They also evaluated the graduates’ potential from the viewpoint of empoyability. Maksim Berendyaev, Director of AKM-Vest, remarked that the standards of quality in the free market are as high as in institutional translation and interpreting, and the aspirants have to meet the expected quality standards. After the conference the businessmen  had a separate meeting with the graduates to tell about the state of affairs in the industry which is meant to help the grads find their way around once they are out of School. Let us wish them luck!

SCIT celebrates graduation!

4 July 2023|

On 3 July SCIT held a diploma award ceremony for the graduates of 2022/23 academic year. Herzen university’s Mariinski Hall was full of graduates and their guests, and all present were greeted by Rector Sergey Tarasov, also by Sergey Gritsay, Head of the Linguistic Support Department  of the Russian MFA,  Vladimir Kuznetsov, Head of the UN Information Centre in Moscow, Vladimir Zapevalov, Representative of the Russian MFA in St. Petersburg, and Alexander Prokhorenko, Deputy Director of the State Hermitage and member of the SCIT Borad of Guardians.  Director Irina Alexeeva and Maksim Berendyaev, Head of the AKM-Vest Translation Agency addressed the graduates with a few words of encouragement.  All guests of honour spoke about the importance of linguistic support in today’s world,  noticed the graduates’ high level of competence and wished them a fruitful and rewarding professional life. SCIT Deputy Direcor Angelique Antonova presented a report of SCIT’s activities in 2022/23, especially stressing the renewal of UN internships and a wide array of opportunities provided by the distant learning mode.

As the tradition goes, the festivities were continued on board the ship cruising up and down the Neva, and still further the graduates presented their little quizz and an amateur concert to all the guests. The graduates also received a word of welcome from Geneva, where there is an impressive representation of SCIT trainers and graduates in various international organizations.

Good luck to the new graduates!

Finals are over!

28 June 2023|

The final examinations at SCIT are over! They took the whole week from 19 to 23 June during which the students took exams in translation and sim and consec interpreting with their two working  languages. It certainly was a difficult time, full of emotional and physical strain. The examination board included SCIT trainers and an observer from the UN Kirill Kasyanov.  The students, to their honour, coped well with the exams and showed good results. Some of them, à propos, have taken the UN language examinations. Ahead are the internships in the language services of international organizations and translation agencies, and the nearest future holds the festivities – the diploma award ceremony and the boat trip. Our congratulations to the graduates and trainers!

Additional round of aptitude tests is over

28 June 2023|

On 20 June the additional round of aptitude tests for SCIT was over. Splendid summer weather asisde, the applicants passed through a sieve of seven different aptitude tests, and three people were recommended for taking the SCIT course.  As always, the examination board included observers from the international organizations, and we warmly thank Kirill KAsyanov, Head of the Russian Interpretation Section at UNON, for his substantial contribution to the examiners’ work. Our congratulations and wishes for a successful academic year to the prospective students!

Meeting with Timofey Mineev, MFA Interpreter

30 May 2023|

On 24 May SCIT students met Timofey Mineev, MFA interpreter and SCIT graduate of 2018. The meeting was more of a talk than a master-class: Timofey told about his experience in the Russian MFA, gave some practical advice, shared some curious cases.  The informal atmosphere of the meeting was conducive to asking  questions, and the students did ask a lot of questions about getting a staff position in the MFA of Russia, and the working routine, and what not.

It is the fist time Timofey has come to SCIT after graduation, and we thank him for finding time for it. We hope, he will continue the good practice of regular meetings of SCIT graduates and current students, and it will strengthen professional and friendly ties among the generations of SCIT graduates.

P.S. A CD with Timofey’s music was an additional nice surprise for Director Irina Alexeeva 🙂


Master-class of Daria Mandrova, Russian MFA Interpreter

28 April 2023|

On 21 April Daria MAndrova, MFAstaff interpreter and SCIT alumna 2014, held a master class for the students. She has been with the MFA of Russia since 2015, and her professional expertise is beyond doubt. This master class was devoted to a difficult topic of rendering Russian realia, such as the names of various state bodies, organizations and enterprises, into the English language. Also Daria chose for the exercise an interview with a renown Russian author Lyudmila Ulitskaya. We highly appreciate that every year Daria finds time in her tight schedule to share her knowledge with the SCIT students and hope that such meetings will continue.


Master-class of Andrey Falaleyev

24 April 2023|

On 20 April the SCIT students had a master-class from Andrey Falaleye which the master had promised to hold at the previous meeting. This time the focus was on practicing the skills in simultaneous interpreting. Following his own practice technique, Andrey subjected the students to a three-hour intensive interpretation marathon working on their reaction, expression and stamina. The students were understandably tired, but expressed sincere gratitude to the master himself as well as to the School administration for making it happen.