Students in the Master program in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts (MultiLearn) at the University of Luxembourg have the unique opportunity to get involved in the Terminology Coordination (TermCoord) Unit of the European Parliament. Housed under the Directorate-General for Translation (DG TRAD), TermCoord provides terminology support for the EP’s 24 translation units and co-manages IATE, the EU’s inter-institutional terminological database, together with the other EU institutions..
As a prerequisite for a Study Visit, students have to enrol in the course “Terminology in the EU,” which is offered in the first semester of the MultiLearn master program. The course is a wide-ranging introduction to the subject of terminology. We learn about the role and importance of terminology for EU institutions and agencies in general and for the European Parliament in particular. We receive a basic theoretical grounding in the practice of terminology and then we get a chance to practice using IATE. We also learn of other applications of terminology, for example, in marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and in semantic web development.
The three-week Study Visit takes place in the second semester and you can choose to do your visit either in the Terminology or in the Communication team of the TermCoord Unit. But you can also move between the two according to your interests.
I already had a background in copywriting, so I chose to work in the Communication team and it turned out to be the perfect fit. I worked alongside permanent staff and the Schuman Trainees in TermCoord, undertaking daily tasks including editing, graphic design, social media promotion activities, and web content updates. I had a chance to research, write and publish articles related to terminology, linguistics, and communication. I also participated in staff meetings, where we discussed ongoing projects, and where people’s passion for the work within the unit was evident.
Looking back at my three weeks in TermCoord, I especially appreciated the genuine welcome and the friendly work environment. I felt and saw that study visitors have an equal opportunity to contribute project ideas or suggest improvements and these are valued just the same as the ideas of permanent staff. Although I began with only a basic knowledge of terminology, I gained a deeper understanding of the subject and its importance to the European Parliament. For future students in the MutliLearn master program, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Study Visit opportunity to anyone interested in experiencing daily work life in a European institution.
Written by Anabel Mota – Study Visitor in Communication at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg) and student in the Master program in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg. She speaks Spanish, English, and French and she is learning German.