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Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

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Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby StefKe » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:31 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm new here. I wonder if anyone knows the ISTI school in Brussels (Belgium) and can tell me if they think it's a good school. What the level is, the atmosphere,... I'm thinking of studying there (English and Dutch).

Thanks in advance. :)
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ISTI ???

Postby cyr » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:56 am

Does anyboddy know about the ISTI school in Brussel ? Does students of the ISTI get interesting job offers ? Is it a good school ???

thank you for any information you may share

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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby Oli » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:15 pm

Well, I have the same question... Students at IStI, Bruxelles, people who visited the school...please please tell us what you think of it!! Same questions about the Marie-Haps Institute in Bruxelles, too...
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby Oli » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:45 pm

Ok, so I went to Brussels, went to ISTI's open day and checked out Marie Haps too, so here is the info I got:
In Brussels, apparently, it is illegal to select students through an entry test before starting a Master's program.
So at ISTI there are no entrance exams to get into the Master in interpreting and at Marie Haps, apparently, there is an entry test but they can't legally deny you access to the course, so even if you fail the test but still decide you want to take the Master, you can go ahead and do it.

Now the tricky bit you really need to know:
at ISTI they don't just accept you on the Master because you have a degree and can provide proof of your language skills or whatever.
They accept you on the basis of "equivalence", i.e. they look at all your academic studies up to now and basically want to see that in terms of content it is (very) similar to their Bachelor in multilingual communication (which includes language courses, some history, some economics/law possibly, can't remember, it's that sort of program anyway, not just language and literature).

They require the following documents from you if you want to apply:
-letter of motivation
-copy of your ID
-copy of School diploma
-copy of University diploma
-List of courses and grades of your university degree
-a description of every course you took at University. You can't write it yourself, they want it to come from your University (that could be your faculty's students' handbook with a list of all the courses available, for example...)
-proofs of your stays abroad
-proofs of work experience if you have it

Any documents, diplomas that are not in French, English or German need to be translated into French by a certified translator in Belgium.

I asked in the students’ secretariat what the selection criteria were, they told me it is all about equivalence, basically there is one person in an office who sits down, looks at your application and compares the descriptions of your university courses with the content of their bachelor in multilingual communication. I then talked to some students who told me it seems to be, indeed, a purely administrative process and themselves they had a degree from a University abroad (a bachelor) and had applied for the Master in interpreting but found themselves having to take the final year of the Bachelor in multilingual communication at ISTI because of this "equivalence" issue before being allowed to take the Master.

I also asked a professor (in one of the language departments, not interpretation) whether this whole "equivalence" process was an administrative or an academic one and whether an academic commission or administrative staff made the final decision on that... Well, I didn't really get a clear answer to that, other that the professor agreed that it was a very relevant question indeed, that Belgium was a bit strange in this respect and that equivalence issues seemed to be a plague that you just had to accept in academic life in Belgium in spite of the Bologna process...

Anyway... anyone planning to apply to ISTI, you are advised to submit your application early (April is a good time to start they told me) include all the documents they require and explain your language skills etc. in your CV and "letter of motivation" in such a way that a member of admin staff who may know little about interpreting can get it and see why everything you did qualifies you to take this Master in interpreting. If you can make your life and studies up to now look as similar as possible to their "Bachelor in multilingual communication" on paper, that should help you get in with less hassle.

As for the program at ISTI: from now on you will only be able to do ACC. You can, of course, attend extra classes if you whish but basically officially you can only take ACC. That is because otherwise the workload would be too high in terms of contact hours and, considering that many students go straight from the bachelor to the Master, they usually just have these two C languages. There used to be an option to add a retour or a C in the second year of the program but that is no longer available.
As for Marie-Haps, I don't know yet... I expect this whole equivalence business might be easier seeing that they do have an entry test ... but then it might not...

It all sounds a bit off-putting, slightly odd (admin staff deciding on the basis of course titles and description of your previous studies whether you can take the master in interpretation sounds a bit odd to me and entails all sorts of dodgy implications, too...) and complicated but might still be worth the hassle , seeing that Brussels is a top location to get internships and all sorts of opportunities to practice during your studies...
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby girlshine » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:44 pm

Hi! I wrote an e-mail to the ISTI and they answered that they do not accept students with an A language which is not French, does anybody know if this is true??! On the website, it seems you can apply if you are a foreign student and, as you said, you should show that you have a Bachelor similar to the Multilingual's one...how does it work?
In the mail, they were really clear: "La langue A de l'ISTI est le français et nos étudiants doivent choisir deux langues étrangères parmi l'allemand, l'anglais, l'espagnol, l'italien, le néerlandais et le russe." Does anybody know if it is possible to study in French but to get the diploma with another A language??I don't know, it seems so strange to me! :?:
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby LaPeppApolide » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:23 pm

There's nothing strange about it...they probably don't have the budget/teachers/organization to do otherwise. I mean, if they told you why do you have to wonder if it's true...it's first hand reliable information if it's theirs. You can be a foreign student and have a A french.
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby arcoiris » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:02 pm

Hi everybody,
it's hard to get accurate information about ISTI even when you write them, so now, I don't dare to write anymore !
does anyone know the address to send the application papers ?
thank you !
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby guillaumimoso » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:27 pm

Girlshine and LaPeppApolide,

I've just finished my degree at Marie Haps, and I know a few students who are/were at ISTI. I don't know what those people told you, but for 2009/10, there were a lot of Italian As at ISTI, including one who passed with German and French C! There was also a Spanish/Catalan A, and I think there were also students with Russian A.
I'm not sure if it's the last year they're offering this possibility, but not all students at ISTI are French As. I guess, as usual, that it's a case-by-case system.
Also to be noted, certain combinations do not necessarily include English... not sure if this is a good thing or not, but that's how it is.
As to getting an answer to emails, welcome to the Belgian administration! A phone call might actually be more efficient. And do not put the phone down until you get an answer!
Good luck!
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby girlshine » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:47 pm

Hi guillaumimoso! Thanks for your reply.

Since I'm struggling with the Belgian application form, I have another question...I read on the ISTI website that you need to ask for the equivalent of your diploma through the 'Service des Equivalences', but when you click on the following website (http://www.equivalences.cfwb.be/documen ... es_sup.pdf) you'll discover that you have to send the 'Dossier' to obtain the equivalence straightly to the University you are applying to...

Then, it sounds quite weird to learn that, in theory, the University says you should ask for the equivalence to the Belgian 'Cellule des équivalences', but this organization actually states that it is the University who decides if you are eligible for the course or not!

I hope I could explain my perplexity on this equivalence matter. :oops:

Shall I send the entire application form to the University or do I need to pass through the other bureau first?! Does anybody know how it is working in Belgium?
I've sent mails to both institutions, but I didn't receive any answer.

I hope somebody has an idea about it.Thanks in advance!
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby guillaumimoso » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:33 pm

I think you need to send the form to the other bureau first. My understanding is that they are the ones who can deliver the "equivalence", and then ISTI just accepts it as being valid. But I could be wrong...
Sorry I can't help you more with that. Furthermore, I guess ISTI closes during the summer time, just like Marie Haps.
If you have other options in other schools, just go with these first, and drop the Belgian ones. The administration is inefficient. If bad comes to worst, you can also apply in September, but again, double check.

Good luck!
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby girlshine » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:44 pm

Thanks a lot again :P !!!

I'll call them as soon as possible and I will let you know how it is working, so if anybody is looking for this info can be luckier than me and find it here :)
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby dawncloack » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:20 pm

What I am going to report is just hearsay, so treat it as such.

In general, the vibe I get from other professionals about ISTI is: Meh. Not that good.
The brightest light casts the darkest shadows
Professional interpreter
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Location: Paris

Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby sandika » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:29 pm

I'm at my last year at secondary school in italy and next year I would like to start studying in an interpreting school in belgium.
I've heard about isti and marie haps, so I was wondering if someone could help me get a clear idea of wich would be best..
thank you!
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby unique » Fri May 27, 2011 1:16 am

Hi Sandika,
I studied at ISTI for 6months during an Erasmus placement - although I didn't study interpretation, I was with other people who were. In general the experience was good there but I think I should highlight the downsides:
The place is very very small, with a tiny library and few facilities. The admin staff were generally helpful if inefficient (losing forms etc)
I wouldn't choose to do my masters there in interpreting because it seems to have mixed reviews of reputation, and the facilities there for studying are dismal. However, the core subjects that you study besides the int/translating have good coursebooks, produced by ISTI, and the scheme of study seems fairly clear and organised. The majority of lecturers were not bad either, economics was rather entertaining. There's very good Italian staff - Mr Mangano, and I found the translation staff for English also very helpful. But for some reason there is something about the place that gives me a bad vibe about doing a masters there - there's a distinctly "non studious' vibe there, and the majority of people i ran into didn't seem to know what they were doing there and weren't that interested in their studies, it felt like a high school to be honest. I ran into a lot of people that had been signed up by their parents simply because they spoke two languages. So for me, the atmosphere was a bit negative!
anyway, hope that helps!
I'm probably going to be looking to Geneva...
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Re: Could anyone tell me what they think about ISTI

Postby Sono » Sat May 28, 2011 11:00 am

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Btw, have you heard at all of Marie Haps (LMH) while you were there?
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