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The Elia Exchange initiative is Elia’s response to an increased awareness that graduates from translation programs are, from the employer’s point of view, not equipped with the skills necessary to begin being part of a productive team without significant training provided by the employer. The initiative seeks to create a multi-faceted approach to improve the situation by facilitating cooperative partnerships between the industry and academia. The three principle foci are:



1) to improve the quality of internships by promoting internship best practices by making use of the Elia Exchange Internship Memorandum of Understanding;

2) to take a leadership role in creating change by developing a forum for open exchanges between language service providers (LSPs) and university faculties;

3) to create a database connecting LSPs, universities and students to improve the internship process for all.

Who may participate


The three principal components of this cooperative partnership are the Elia member LSPs, universities and students.

1. Students or recent graduates of university level translation studies will be able to register with the database.

2. For Elia member companies to participate fully in the initiative they must commit to using and adhering to the principles of the Elia Exchange Internship Memorandum of Understanding.

3. Universities seeking to take part will be asked to join the Elia Exchange which will include a nominal fee and an agreement to participate and use the resources provided by the initiative.



Why you should participate


Students that find internships through the Elia Exchange can feel secure that they will gain useful experience and skills helping to prepare them for their careers. Elia Exchange facilitated internships provide students the reassurance that all companies offering opportunities within the program make use of the EE MoU. The companies have committed to conducting business ethically and investing in the growth and professionalization or the language industry through their engagement and relationships with the academic world (universities and students). The EE MoU is tool to:

• Help companies define the internship they are offering;

• Provide details about what an internship will provide enabling students to make an informed choice when deciding which internships to apply for an accept;

• Serve as assurance that the conditions of the internship in the EE MoU or other related contracts will be respected;

• Demonstrate to universities the commitment by the Elia Exchange member companies to provide quality internships which in turn will support the use of the EE MoU by sending their best students to these companies utilizing it.


Companies that become Elia Exchange members will be able to get involved at various levels ranging from making use of the Elia Exchange Internship Memorandum of Understanding (EE MoU) and database to actively engaging with the local Universities, even going so far as to organize meetings and volunteering to speak or even teach in one of the local programs. There can be many personal benefits and business benefits for such an investment. From the company side the advantages of participating include:

• Having the advantage of a recognized framework and support for organising transparent and mutually beneficial internships;

• Developing a channel for finding new staff and freelance resources;

• Having a forum to interact with the institutions generating  translation graduates to work with them to improve their preparation for employment and manage graduate expectations;

• Saving time with induction training at LSPs;

• Establishing knowledge transfers partnerships with universities.


Academic partners can reap significant benefits as well. The initiative can provide:

• Access to a wider range of quality internship opportunities for students and graduates, each backed by the EE MoU;

• Use of the Elia Exchange membership as a marketing tool for recruitment of students;

• A network of practicing industry partners that provide up-to-date information on where the industry is going, on tools and workflows;

• Priority in the Elia Exchange program;

• Support in accountability by setting up a system for collecting statistics that demonstrate that Elia Exchange cooperation improves the students’ employability;

• Access to an Elia repository of reference documents, presentations from LSP visits and workshops taught, information on the specific shortcomings the students have that the LSPs currently have to teach them;



Current status


There has been significant interest from Elia members, other tool and service providers and from universities. Over 25 member companies have volunteered to help with the program and at least 36 university contacts have confirmed their interest in participating in the initiative. As the Elia Exchange moves forward, it is anticipated that additional companies and universities will join.


How you can participate


Elia member companies and students interested in participating in the Elia Exchange must register to be part of the program and have their information entered into the Internship Database. Universities interested in becoming an Elia Exchange member and participating in the program must apply for membership by visiting the Elia Exchange webpages for Universities and submit online their application to Elia.


Register here




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