On 8 – 26 February SCIT hosted Jonathan Clements, FAO interpreter. Over three weeks he gave master-classes in consecutive and simultaneous retour as well as sight translation to SCIT students. In preparing for the classes the students learned a lot about FAO, its agenda and the specificity of texts and speeches there. The master-classes in retour into English with a native speaker highlighted the students’ problem areas and gaps in their mastery of retour. Moreover, as an experienced interpreter Jonathan shared his secrets on interpreting technique and provided a lot of valuable advice. In addition, students from the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs at the Institute of Foreign Languages could also attend Jonathan’s classes. Our guest was also an active participant in SCIT events concurrent with his visit. He took part in a Welcome Day, attended lectures given by SCIT professors and actively practiced his Russian with the SCIT students.

Jonathan Clements’ master classes took place under the Memorandum of Understanding with FAO. Another aspect of cooperation with FAO is graduate internships. Currently Marina Tkacheva, SCIT graduate 2015, is working with the FAO translator team in Rome. We hope Herzen University will continue and further broaden its cooperation with this organization.