"Since I was studying translation and interpreting with two languages, my year abroad was split between two renowned translation institutions in two different countries. I spent the winter semester of 1998/9 at the translating institution of the University of Vienna, Austria and the summer semester of 1999 at the École de Traduction in Geneva, Switzerland as an Erasmus student. It was fantastic! Autumn treats and Christmas markets in snowy Vienna, and spring and early summer spent at the lakes and in the mountains surrounding the international city at the foot of the Alps!
I learnt a great deal, particularly concerning translation theory, and got the chance to study with professors who were professional translators, some at the UN and the WHO in Geneva. They provided a great insight into my future job! I met many fantastic people from all over the world and made a lot of friends, many of whom I am still in touch with today.
The year abroad also taught me a lot about myself, and built up a self-confidence I wouldn’t have had, had I not been put in a position where I was completely, 100% responsible for my entire life – social engagements, doctor’s appointments, social insurance issues and tax problems, all in a foreign language!
Upon graduation I moved to Vienna and took up a post as an in-house translator in a dotcom company. After 1 year, I went freelance, working solely on this basis for around 4 years. While I still take on freelance projects, I am now in my 7th year as a part-time, in-house translator for Siemens, translating hospital software, training documentation, marketing and sales texts.
On a personal note, my time in Austria was enhanced by my Austrian boyfriend. We have now been together for 16 years, married for more than 8, and have two beautiful daughters."