FAQ: Practicums

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Practicums – School of Translation and Interpretation

What is a practicum?

A practicum is an experiential learning component of your university studies that allows you to gain real-world work experience and to apply the knowledge and skills you acquire during your course work.

Are practicums in translation only?

Interns from the School of Translation and Interpretation are sought after for their language and communication skills. Typically, tasks include translation and revision, primarily, but also unilingual or bilingual writing, translation project management, terminology, proofreading, etc. In short, any placement in written communication can potentially be accepted as a translation internship.

Do I have to do a practicum?

Yes, if you are registered in one of our BA programs (regular or accelerated) and are not in the co-op option, you must do a practicum. You have the option to do a second practicum if you wish, after you have completed your first (compulsory) practicum.

What types of practicums are available?

If you are in the into-English stream, you can choose from:

TRA4112 — In-house practicum

  • This is an opportunity to work on an internal project at the School of Translation and Interpretation under the supervision of a professor. This rare internship is only offered if a full-time professor is available to lead a project and supervise students, and usually takes place in the summer.

TRA4136 — External practicum

  • This is an opportunity to work within an organization or company, or any other project outside the School of Translation and Interpretation. Most students do external practicums.

TRA4936 — Specialized professional training

  • This is an internship carried out in the framework of a partnership between the School of Translation and Interpretation and an employer. This internship is only offered if an agreement is in place. The number of spots is often very limited.

What is the best practicum option and when should I do it?

Most of our students do an external practicum in the Spring/Summer session following their third year of studies in the regular BA, or the first year of the accelerated BA. This is when most employers are hiring for practicums.

How long is the practicum?

The practicum in a Translation program must include at least 185 hours of work. If the employer offers a longer contract, you may be able to work more hours.

Is the practicum paid?

This depends on the employer. Many practicums—especially those in the public service and larger companies—are paid. However, many non-profit organizations offer unpaid practicums which students may do as part of a community engagement project at the University of Ottawa.

Are there prerequisites for the practicum?

Yes, you must have successfully completed TRA3155 Introduction to Terminology and Terminotics or TRA3555 Initiation à la terminologie et à la terminotique and at least 4 translation courses towards the dominant language of your program before doing your practicum.

What is the process for registering for a practicum?

  • In September/October of your third year of studies in the regular BA or your first year of studies in the accelerated BA (at the latest), attend the information session organized by the School. Details on how to apply and register will be provided then.
  • Begin looking for practicum opportunities.
  • If you will have completed the prerequisites before the winter and would like to complete your practicum in the Winter semester, apply by the end of November to register.
  • If you will have completed the prerequisites before the spring/summer and would like to complete your practicum in the Spring/Summer session, apply by the end of January to register.

Do I need to find my own practicum?

Although the School maintains relationships with employers and regularly sends out information about opportunities for practicums, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to find and apply for a practicum that suits their needs and interests (schedule, pay, location, academic progress, professional interests, etc.). Consider this a great opportunity to network for the future!

How will my practicum be evaluated?

The practicum is evaluated both by the School of Translation and Interpretation and by the employer. Expectations for your specific practicum will be set at the beginning of the placement. A successfully completed practicum appears as P (Pass) on your transcript.

Do I have to submit a report on my practicum?

Yes, you will submit a report upon completion of your practicum. Report-writing guidelines will be provided at the beginning of the placement.

How can I find out more?

Information sessions will be offered on a regular basis, starting late August 2021, so that you can begin your planning. This is a great opportunity to start thinking about your next steps and ask any questions you may have.

In the interim, you may contact our Practicum Coordinator, Julián Zapata, at jzapatar@uottawa.ca. He will do his best to reply within 72 hours.

Back to top