Kirstie studied abroad in Vienna and Geneva and in now a translator for Siemens
I learnt a great deal, particularly concerning translation theory, and got the chance to study with professors who were professional translators, some at the UN and the WHO in Geneva. They provided a great insight into my future job! I met many fantastic people from all over the world and made a lot of friends, many of whom I am still in touch with today.
The year abroad also taught me a lot about myself, and built up a self-confidence I wouldn’t have had, had I not been put in a position where I was completely, 100% responsible for my entire life – social engagements, doctor’s appointments, social insurance issues and tax problems, all in a foreign language!
Upon graduation I moved to Vienna and took up a post as an in-house translator in a dotcom company. After 1 year, I went freelance, working solely on this basis for around 4 years. While I still take on freelance projects, I am now in my 7th year as a part-time, in-house translator for Siemens, translating hospital software, training documentation, marketing and sales texts.
On a personal note, my time in Austria was enhanced by my Austrian boyfriend. We have now been together for 16 years, married for more than 8, and have two beautiful daughters."
In partnership with the British Academy and University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) we gathered short reports from graduates on the importance that the year abroad has had for them, in terms of their skill set, their careers and their lives. These reports formed the basis of the Position Statement: Valuing the Year Abroad. Browse the reports below for inspiration, and select a tag within a report to read more on that theme.