Development of Elia Exchange in the Western Balkans

The Elia Exchange (EE) programme aims to enhance contact and communication between the academic and business worlds. It is a cooperation initiative started in spring 2013, involving universities, translation students and Elia members (LSPs). The purpose is to devise practical and mutually beneficial partnerships with universities offering translation study degrees to better prepare translation students for the rapidly changing world of the language industry.

One of the mechanisms that EE uses to achieve this is the organization of national and regional EE Forums. The first Western Balkan countries EE Forum was held last December at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek, the first university to join the EE.

Some of the most significant points of discussion included the presentation of translation studies at the regional universities, the organization of Doors Open Days by translation and localization vendors to introduce the students to the working environment awaiting them after their graduation, visiting lectures for students, whilst one of the most interesting topics presented was the possibility of professional development for students during and after their studies.

The connecting of teachers and representatives of LSPs was a splendid opportunity for the successful exchange of knowledge and good practices that could be transferred to other EE members from other regions in the future. The Forum was attended by representatives of universities from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, as well as representatives of the industry from Croatia and Slovenia. EE Western Balkans presently includes three full members, with the University of Tuzla soon to join the initiative. The goal is to include the universities from all countries of the region, i.e. Slovenia, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia and Albania.

Earlier this month, the first translation and localization workshop was held by the industry representatives at the same faculty. The students were presented with the working day of a translator to become acquainted with the working processes and the translation standards. As the workshop was a success, a number of additional workshops was planned to be held at the universities that are EE members.

One of the strongest points in the development and growth of the initiative is the database of internships that includes students, universities and Elia members. In mid-2014, we announced the establishing of this database. We invite all Elia members from the region to register and thus provide the internships for the students of translation students during and after their studies, in their countries of residence or in the neighbouring countries, at the universities that are present EE members, as well as at those that will become one.

Ciklopea, the regional coordinator of the EE program for the Western Balkans would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the fellow coordinators from other regions on their successes in connecting the universities of Europe and other activities within the EE initiative.

Stay tuned to learn more about the EE activities in 2015.