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Six graduating students from the Monterey Institute’s Translation and Interpretation program were chosen to participate in the first-ever group of summer interns selected by the United Nations’ Translation and Interpretation Services. The internship program is a component of the Memorandum of Understanding signed a year ago between the UN and the Monterey Institute. The Institute is one of 12 advanced language schools worldwide with whom the UN has signed similar MOUs, and the only one in North or South America.

Yanqi Liu worked at the Chinese Verbatim section and talks about an “extraordinary” experience where she got to meet the “most exciting people in my field.” Her fellow MIIS alum and colleague Yun Li worked mostly for the Chinese Translation Service, translating documents on a wide range of issues such as AIDS, disarmament and poverty reduction and says she “learned a lot,” especially from the feedback of professional revisers. The two interns so impressed their bosses that they had their contracts extended and have made many important contacts and connections that will no doubt help them to further their careers.

Claudia Tebay also talks about the very valuable connections she has made during her time working for the Spanish language departments at the UN. “Opportunities are what you make of them” says Claudia and adds “I can say that I made a lot of this one.” She is particularly happy with her opportunity to work with Spanish terminologists.

The two-month intensive training program was designed to prepare the students for the UN’s Competitive Examinations, a requirement for all prospective UN translators and interpreters. Alfonso Ferrer Amich already took and passed all of his Spanish-language exams and is now on the roster for a placement within the UN system. He obviously made the most of this “unique opportunity to adapt to the functioning of an international organization in terms of terminology, phrasing, style and institutional culture.”

All of the UN interns speak enthusiastically of the wonderful reception they received from the many MIIS alumni at United Nations headquarters in New York.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir