Studying at Bath: 'The cradle for top interpreters'

Chuqin Qi studied MA Interpreting and Translating at Bath and completed an interpreting internship at the UN in Vienna. Here is more about here experience.

Chuqin Qi in a translation booth at the United Nations.
Chuqin Qi in a translation booth at the United Nations.

Why did you choose to study MA Interpreting and Translating at Bath?

'The reputation of this course and the attraction of this historic city led me here. Many Chinese people refer to Bath as “The cradle for top interpreters”. The MA Interpreting and Translating (MAIT) course has been well renowned as offering the best teaching staff, the most rigorous training system and the most opportunities to develop one’s potential.

'The course consists of interpreting courses as well as translating courses, offering opportunities for both prospective translators and interpreters.'

What did you enjoy most about the course?

'I really appreciated the way it was structured. Instead of passive learning, we could actively practice, compare our performance with other classmates and get instant individual feedback from our teachers in class. We could also access abundant United Nations materials for practice, as our academics have close professional ties with the UN.

'In the second semester, our studies became even more practical. For example, our lecturers organised a UN mini-conference for the Simultaneous Interpreting module, which was very demanding but also rewarding.'

How did you find the general university atmosphere and facilities?

'I would describe it as dynamic: The academics work very hard on bringing the latest developments in various fields back to students through weekly open debates and seminars.

'Alongside academic events, we have about 90 societies, from arts, business and politics to food, sports and games, available for students to take part in and enrich their student life. Personally, I love swimming, and I found our Olympic Legacy Pool amazing. As students of University of Bath, we could access the swimming pool for free. So if you are fond of swimming, you shouldn't miss it!

'Bath is a lovely World Heritage city with countless sites I enjoyed exploring. It felt wonderful to work on my professional skills surrounded by the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, the Jane Austen Centre and others.'

What did you do on your internship?

'I did a week-long Simultaneous Interpreting internship at the United Nations in Vienna. During that time, the 50th Session of Working Group A of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) was taking place. Although I was interpreting in a dummy booth, so the delegates could not hear me, being able to interpret in a real-life setting was a fantastic experience.

'The whole preparation of the conference was quite challenging. I had to familiarise myself with the whole procedural system of the UN and a large quantity of technical jargon used by the organisation’s delegates. Luckily, the senior UN interpreters such as Ms Jane Francis were happy to share useful tips, which turned the challenges into opportunities.

'The internship overall was a great boost in my career development, and thanks to this internship I've expanded my professional network.'

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in Translation and Interpreting?

'A career in translation and interpreting is challenging, which requires long-term commitment and ongoing improvement. One of our lecturers, Mr Miguel Fialho once said: “MAIT is a character building course.” Indeed, every day is full of challenges and uncertainties, and we had to keep pushing our boundaries to reach higher.'

‘Many Chinese people refer to Bath as 'The cradle for top interpreters'. The MAIT course has been well renowned as offering the best teaching staff, the most rigorous training system and the most opportunities to develop one’s potential.’
Chuqin Qi, MA Interpreting and Translating