As Korea enters the age of globalization, the demand for professional translators and interpreters to mediate international exchanges is rising. Amidst this new trend stands the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation (GSTI) in Ewha acting as a center for equipping competent translators and interpreters to advance into the international arena.
Ewha GSTI was established in 1997 with the approval from the Ministry of Education to serve as the stepping stone to foster specialists in the field of interpretation and translation. Educational objectives of GSTI include cultivating leaders to set the foundation for international interchange, and acquiring knowledge in various areas that is likely to become the subjects of translation and interpretation.
The GSTI is divided into two departments, Translation and Interpretation, offering four different languages: English, French, Japanese, and Chinese. The faculty consists of professors who have practical experience as professional translators of renowned works or as international conference interpreters. Students agree that classes relate closely to the reality of translation and interpretation.
Each class consists of about ten students and encompasses a variety of subjects, as translators and interpreters need overall knowledge on a wide range of subjects. For example, cultural classes deal with politics, society and even table manners of a certain region. Special classes, such as one dealing with Information Technology field, were held for five weeks with participation from students of other Translation and Interpretation graduate schools.
Entrance exams are held once a year around October or November admitting 100 proficient students. The entrance exam consists of an essay exam in Korean and the language that one is applying for, plus an interview for the Interpretation Department and a translation test for the Translation Department for those that pass the written test.
In contrast to other graduate schools of translation and interpretation that test in-depth knowledge on certain subjects during their entrance exams, Ewha GSTI tends to test knowledge on more general current issues while focusing on the comprehension and expression skills of the applicant. even though there are special academies that help you prepare for the entrance exam, I tried to read Korean and English newspapers every day, said Jung Soo-yeon (Korea-English Interpetation, 1).
After completing two years of education, graduates have branched out as freelance translators, interpreters for international conferences, corporations, foreign embassies and the government. Alumnae of GSTI have worked as interpreters for former president Kim Dae-jung and the CEO of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kee-tae.
According to Jung, becoming a student of the GSTI and, after that, a professional interpreter or translator is not easy without a firm commitment to your goal. One has to possess a wide range of knowledge, great powers of concentration, the ability to react instantly, and most importantly, the courage to never give up. She says that if you have a definite dream, enrolling into GSTI will be one of the best investments that you can make for a bright future of your dreams.