Rhys, from Swansea University, studied at ISIT as part of his METS
training (European master in Specialized Translation). He is still living in Paris, working as a communication
What was your educational experience prior to starting ISIT?
Undergraduate degree in French (literature, linguistics, philosophy,
economy/politics) at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford; MA in Translation and
Interpreting Studies at Swansea University (1st year of Master’s degree
How did you hear about ISIT?
First through the Internet, and secondly through various METS (Master Européen de Traduction Spécialisée) documentation.
Why did you choose to study in France and more specifically at ISIT?
On a more global scale, a crucial factor that influenced my decision
is my deep interest in France and its rich culture and history. More
importantly, I was attracted by ISIT’s professional and ‘of now’
study programme; i.e. the possibility of studying languages alongside
more business and diplomatic-related subjects including International
Marketing, International Human Resources, and Cultural Marketing Trends.
Another reason, of equal importance, was ISIT’s location in the
thriving and highly-influential French capital of Paris. My long-term
objective is to secure a professional working career in Paris, and thus
this opportunity acts as an initial platform on which to build
relationships, network, and make potentially-influential
What career do you want to pursue?
Within the initial stages of my career, I am trying to remain
open-minded and philosophical about potential pathways. I believe that
the real asset of pursuing studies at ISIT, and indeed the ‘USP’ of ISIT
graduates so to speak, is the fact that one demonstrates their
flexibility, their roundedness, and thus their transferable skills,
which can be molded according to the sector and the specific role. In a
globalized world that is forever more agile, this asset is pivotal for
the professional landscape of the future. Ideally, I would like to
secure an intercultural role, i.e. in my case, a more
diplomatically-oriented post, working within the British Council,
l’InstitutHow does the educational environment here differ from your
Français, The British and/or French Chamber of Commerce, and eventually, the embassies and/or foreign offices.
The grading system is different since marks are measured /20 rather
than lettered grades (A, B, C) or qualified boundaries e.g. 2.2, 2.1,
1st/ Pass, Merit, Distinction.
I was struck by the actual timetable
structure in France. I feel it is important to point out that one of my
tutors and professors in my home institution implied that the University
working week in France is far more rigorous, i.e. there is far more
structure, with many lessons, classes, and seminars taking place daily
(e.g. from 9am-5,30pm), resembling a professional working day. What I
have actually discovered is a timetable structure closely resembling
that of my home institution, with a certain freedom and independence
granted during the mid-week periods.
I am impressed with the
tutor/professor-student relations. I find the established relationship
is more formal in France, which is advantageous because it encourages a
certain distance, necessary and relevant for each student’s future
professional career pathway.
What struck you when you arrived in France?
A more relaxed atmosphere generally walking in and around the centre
and other parts of Paris. Métro transportation atmosphere slightly less
aggressive than its London counterpart for example.
Responsiveness is different, completing work assignments and group projects at the last minute is generally seen as the norm here, things come together at the last minute and there is a general consensus that ‘everything will work out in the end’. The same goes for emails; responsiveness is not valued as highly, communication
is slower, particularly between students and also between students