Elia Exchange for universities

What joining the Elia Exchange will mean for your university

As an Elia Exchange member you will be provided with several tools that will help your university enhance its ability to create meaningful change which positively impacts the preparation of the graduates from your translation degree program to successfully compete for jobs. In the EE there are two primary mechanisms for causing this change. The first is through internships for students in higher education translation degree programs or recent graduates and the second is by participating in open exchanges with language service providers (LSPs).


Internships are valuable for all three partners in the Elia Exchange. For the students, they gain experience, skills, insight into the “real working-world”, connections, and a chance to prove their worth to a potential employer. Universities benefit as the internships help them to achieve their goal and purpose: to prepare the young people going through their programs for their careers in the translation industry. Having high percentages of employed graduates reflects well on the program thus enhancing the marketability of the university to potential students. LSPs are able to evaluate potential employees in actual working conditions over an extended period of time (pre-recruiting), bolster the company’s production capacity with the additional personnel and do their part to increase the over-all quality of the available workforce which results in shortened training periods for new employees.

The Elia Exchange provides a system to ensure all three parties know what to expect from the internship and facilitates the whole internship process.

A transparent system

Many companies have their own system in place for acquiring interns but members of the Elia Exchange offer an extra assurance to the students and universities that direct them to the initiative in the form of the Elia Exchange Internship Memorandum of Understanding (EE MoU). Elia has designed the EE MoU as a tool to:

  • Help companies define the internship they are offering
  • Serve as a guide for the intern prior to the period so that he/she knows exactly what will be the content of the internship and is able to choose the company he/she will join
  • Serve as a commitment to the intern so that the conditions announced are respected
  • Serve as an indirect commitment to the universities that will be able to support the companies committing to the MoU by sending their best students to these companies

Members of the Elia Exchange will be recognized as companies committed to conducting business ethically and investing in the growth and professionalization of the language industry through their engagement and relationships with the academic world (universities and students). They are encouraged to download the EE MoU, review it, and incorporate it into their existing internship program. Only companies that commit to using the EE MoU and adhering to its principles will be able to make full use of the EE resources

Connecting students with internships

Many LSPs have established relationships with one, maybe two local universities. The LSP may teach courses or provide guest speakers to help with the classroom learning and the universities channel prospective students to internships with the LSP. The relationship may serve both well but provides LSPs with a limited source of interns. By registering for the Elia Exchange companies may expand their outreach to additional universities in country as well as from without. This increased reach also can help expand on the types of internship a company can offer (e.g. taking advantage of different language combinations, technical skills, etc.).

There is no substitution for having a personal relationship between faculty and businesses but there are practical limitations on the number of LSPs a university can develop such a relationship and there are only so many internships and types of internships a company can offer. By registering with the Elia Exchange and taking part in the program, universities can expand their network of trusted LSPs where they know their students will receive proper training and supervision.

The mechanism for making these connections is the Elia Exchange database. Companies who register may announce internships and the specifics. Students who register will enter their name, contact information, skill set and internship preferences and the database will matches potential interns with internships posted. Students and companies both have the option of receiving notification of any matches via email. Universities will be able to monitor the announcements and provide guidance to the students they feel are ready for temporary insertion within a company.

Company and university exchange

Internships can play a very important role in the future of a student but traditional and not traditional instruction within the academic setting is invaluable. This period forms the knowledge base from which translators and others may build upon to create their professional careers. Students participating in and taking full advantage of well-designed internships have an advantage in the competition for jobs. What they learn and how they learn is important. Is the information relevant? Is it up-to-date? Are they supervised by knowledgeable and experienced personnel who serve as their tutor? What is the future of the translation industry? What technology is important to know? Translation is the heart of the business and will remain so but how and what we translate is constantly evolving and it is the practitioners who are most sensitive to these changes.

One of the three components of the Elia Exchange was developed to address these very issues. The purpose is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information between the practitioners (LSPs) and those creating the foundation for the future workforce (universities) and by developing practical and mutually beneficial partnerships to better prepare language students for the rapidly changing world of the language industry.

The engines of this portion of the initiative are the volunteer Regional Coordinators. The Regional Coordinators (RCs) will foster the relationship between the industry (LSPs) and the academic institutions, helping to make adjustments to accommodate regional particularities, but will also provide input to shape the entire initiative. Thanks to the help of the Elia membership as a whole, universities around Europe have been informed about the Elia Exchange. RCs are responsible for organizing the Elia Exchange Forums between the two groups for an exchange of information and ideas about how to produce the best and most prepared graduates, ready for employment.

The Elia Exchange Regional Coordinators are:




Françoise Bajon

Version internationale

France, Belgium, Luxemburg

Zana Boljkovac


Western Balkans (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Albania)

Anu Carnegie-Brown

STP Nordic

UK and Ireland

Anu Carnegie-Brown

STP Nordic

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

Christian Schwendy



Svetla Marinova


Bulgaria and Romania

Susana Peixoto



Raymund Prins

Global textware


Nuria Riera



Manuele Vecchi

Liguria Traduce


Vitaliy Vorobyov



Dilek Yazici


Greece and Turkey

Jurek Nedoma


Manal Amin


Serge Gladkoff


Rado Tihlarik exe


Asta Rusakevičienė Diskusija



The Elia Exchange University members

As of today, the Elia Exchange University members are:

University of Osijek (Croatia), University of Helsinki (Finland), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), University of Montenegro (Montenegro), University of Eastern Finland (Finland), New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria), Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya (Spain), Université de Haute-Alsace (France), University of Zagreb (Croatia), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), University of Strasbourg (France), University of Westminster (UK) and University of Novi Sad (Serbia)

The Elia Exchange Forums

To begin with, the RCs are organizing pilot meetings within their own countries. Assuming the pilots demonstrate the interest and ability for academia and LSPs to engage, additional Elia Exchange Forums will be organized within each region. Eventually the goal is to have national level Elia Exchange Forums in all European countries.

Elia Exchange Forums have already been organized in UK, Finland, Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, Ukraine and Croatia. The first EE Forum for 2015 was already organized in Slovakia and the EE Forums' Plan for the rest of the year includes France, Finland, Spain and Germany.

To receive more information on the planned Elia Exchange Forums please contact the Regional Coordinator of your country/region or send an e-mail to the Elia Exchange Project Manager, Deppy Nikolaidou (despina.nikolaidou@elia-association.org).

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