On March 23nd, 2017, Yamagata Europe is attending the first Belgian Elia Exchange (EE) Forum. The event is taking place at the University of Antwerp. Elia Exchange is an initiative that aims at bridging the gap between the academic and business worlds. Present at the Antwerp Forum will be Geert Benoit, CEO at Yamagata Europe. 

Elia Exchange (EE) is the program from Elia, the European Language Industry Association, which aims at bridging the gap between the academic and business worlds for the benefit of the language industry. First of all, EE wants to create better opportunities for translation students to gain first-hand experience by means of quality internships. The EE initiative also connects with academic institutions that offer higher education degree programs for the language industry.

EE is at the service of language companies as well, helping them to acquire staff that are more skilled and adept at responding to the rapidly changing needs of the industry.

Bridging the gap between academics and business

In some cases, there is a gap between what is being taught at our universities and what the language industry actually needs in terms of professional skills and talents. More specifically, it’s a continuous effort for universities to find the right balance between theoretical teaching and more practical knowledge that can be used immediately on the workfloor.


Internships are another way to immerse our future language industry professionals into the realities of the business world and let them gain practical experience in companies. Also here, it can be hard to fully align the expectations of both the intern and the host company. Fortunately, there seems to be a positive trend with increased efforts from companies to provide students with longer and more qualitative internships that are more practically oriented.

Building relationships

EE is continuously working at improving the relationship between the academic and the business world, because it is convinced that both need each other for mutual benefit.

EE has three mechanisms in place that help advance this mutual relationship:

  • The EE Database promotes internships, matching students’ interests and career plans with internship opportunities at language service companies.
  • Local EE Forums promote cooperation and dialogue between local industry stakeholders, including academic institutions and language service companies.
  • The EE Memorandum of Understanding is the backbone of Elia Exchange internships and ensures that language service companies apply best practice to provide valuable student experience. 

Yamagata Europe at EE Forum 2017

As a member of Elia Exchange, Yamagata Europe is looking forward to the EE Forum in Antwerp. We will be one of the five language service companies present there and will be joined by members of five different universities as well. The program includes short talks by an MT specialist and lecturers from three different universities.

If you would like to know more about the programs of these forums, feel free to contact the national Elia coordinator for your country. Also, for more information on future Elia Exchange events, visit www.elia-exchange.org