Questions & Answers

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What is the difference between V.I.I.'s on-line and on-site courses

V.I.I.’s on-line courses are comprehensive, self-paced courses designed for people who want to study from the comfort and convenience of their own computers. These courses are also the best option for those individuals who do not live close to an institution that offers instructor-led interpreting education. V.I.I.’s on-site courses are professional development seminars ideal for working language industry professionals who wish to enhance their professional situation. On-site courses are offered at industry conferences or special events throughout the year.

How much does it cost to enroll in the Interpreter Training Program?

The enrollment fee is just US$495.00. This fee covers access to the course, including weekly optional student support sessions with live instructors. 

How much does it cost to enroll in other V.I.I. programs?

Specialized interpreting programs, webinars, and professional development seminars are priced affordably so that anyone can get a lot for a very modest investment. Tuition starts at under US$100.00 for webinars and on-line workshops, and under US$1,000.00 for specialized interpreting courses. Working interpreters typically recover these fees with just a few interpreting assignments!  

Which language combinations are included in V.I.I. courses?

V.I.I. courses are not language-specific. Course content focuses on practical knowledge and skills development through targeted lessons and cutting edge learning technology. This enables V.I.I. students to confidently put their newly acquired skills and knowledge to work regardless of their language combination(s), location, and cultural background. To attain a certificate of completion, students must prove their language fluency through an Oral Proficiency Interview (included in the enrollment fee).  

Are V.I.I. courses valid as pre-requisites for courses at other educational institutions?

V.I.I. courses have been designed as adult/continued education courses, and may be accepted as such at some institutions. Please refer to every institution’s policy regarding enrollment prerequisites. V.I.I. meets all requirements to receive full accreditation in the near future as an educational institution in the United States, and its accreditation process is currently under way.

What are the language combinations?

English + any other language. You need to be fluent in English because the course is in English.

What is a professional interpreter's career path?

Depending on their language combination, professional interpreters can aspire to have part-time or full-time work, usually as freelancers/independent contractors. A general interpreter, as are those individuals who complete the V.I.I. program, are best suited for work for language services companies as on-site or remote interpreters. Remote interpreting means that the interpreter can work from their home using diverse technology like phones, video phones and Internet to mediate communications between individuals in different locations. They may interpret general utility, insurance, banking and law enforcement calls from the start, provided their vocabulary in all of their languages covers this industry (because the V.I.I. program provides the skill set, but independent of language combinations). Individuals who take the course are encouraged to increase their vocabulary in all industry sectors in preparation for general interpreting work. With further preparation, such as medical and legal interpreting courses, interpreters can become specialized, and, depending on language combination, take exams to attain certification in those fields, where available.

What does a professional interpreter's job entail?

A professional public services interpreter facilitates an encounter between people in a social situation (different from the situations encountered by conference interpreters), where one person speaks the dominant language of the area, and the other person speaks a foreign language. Examples of social or community situations where interpreting may be required are hospitals (e.g., between a patient and a doctor), encounters with police officers (such as arrests), contact with utility companies (like setting up service), and customer support (e.g., insurance providers and their clients). Public services interpreters work remotely and on-site. For on-site assignments, interpreters travel to different locations, such as a doctor’s family practice, at an appointed time, and for remote assignments, they connect to a system to signal they are available to facilitate conversations via phone or video link.

What are some of the benefits of having a career as a professional interpreter?

In those countries with a high influx of immigrants, a career in public services interpreting is highly portable. You can apply for remote interpreting work regardless of location, and if your language combination matches the demographics of the place, you can also aspire to have on-site assignments. Professional interpreters who have formal education are expert communicators, making it possible for underserved populations to have equal access, and for dominant language businesses and institutions to gain and support new markets. Another benefit of working as an interpreter is that at the end of the workday you are truly done with work. In most cases, you will not have to think about work after you finish your day, because there will be no pending tasks related to an assignment for you to do

Are there any industry certifications for public services interpreters?

There is no industry certification for general spoken language interpreting. However, certification does exist in several countries for sign language interpreters, medical interpreters and judicial interpreters (and only for limited language combinations).

Who develops V.I.I. courses?

V.I.I. courses are developed and facilitated by a team of top interpreting and learning management experts. Experts have a minimum of ten years of experience in the language services industry, and follow a rigorous methodology to ensure that V.I.I. courses are effective for all who complete them according to plan.
Read more about our Course Contributors.  

Can anyone who is bilingual apply for the Interpreter Training Program?

Students must have full verbal fluency in at least two spoken languages to apply for the program. As part of the program, students will participate in an Oral Proficiency Interview provided by an accredited testing institution, in order to attain a certificate of completion. While there are no specific age requirements for admission, the course has been designed for adult bilingual learners with a minimum of a high-school education or equivalent.

What happens if I don't finish the program in the allotted six month time frame?

Students have six months from the date of enrollment to complete the Interpreter Training Program. For those who do not complete the course work in time, V.I.I. does offer extensions for purchase. Students are able to purchase one month at a time for $100 to allow for completion of the program.

Does V.I.I. help students who complete V.I.I. courses with career placement?

Students who successfully complete the Interpreter Training Program and other V.I.I. courses have the option to be listed in an employer-searchable database at no cost. V.I.I. has a network of language services providers who use this database to recruit interpreters.

Am I certified when I complete the course?

No. You will have a Certificate of Completion/Diploma. This means that you can begin working as a professional interpreter, but you cannot say that you are certified. You can say that you are a “trained” interpreter. An example would be similar to when someone gets a degree in Accounting. They are not an accountant until they pass the CPA exam. But in the meantime they can work as a bookkeeper and earn money, while they prepare to attain certification. This course gives you the foundation for future specialized coursework in medical and judicial interpreting (certification exams exist in these disciplines in some countries). The difference is, this course will enable you to become a general interpreter just as soon as you complete it.

How much can I earn when I finish the course?

Immediately after you finish the course, you can begin accepting interpreting assignments. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median income for interpreters in 2010 at $43,300 per year and $20.82 per hour. Simply follow the instructions in the career module of the program and you will be on your way to accepting interpreting assignments right away.

Are there pre-requisites?

Yes. You must have a high school education (or equivalent) and be fully bilingual.

Is there a language test?

Yes. As part of your program, you will be required to take a spoken language fluency assessment in both your “A” Language (native language) and your “B” Language (second language). These tests are included in your tuition cost and are conducted over the phone. Certified testers will have a conversation with you in your languages, designed to assess your level of fluency on a 1-5 scale. You must have a fluency level of at least 3 in that scale in both languages to pass. If you do not obtain a level 3 fluency qualification in both languages, you will not pass the course. IN ORDER TO BE AN INTERPRETER YOU MUST HAVE FULL VERBAL FLUENCY IN 2 (or more) LANGUAGES.  

Where would individuals with this training find work?

Language services companies: These are private and publically held companies that offer translation, localization, and interpreting services, among other services. In general, the smaller the interpreting agency, the greater the chances that they operate locally and hire on-site (on location) interpreters on a contract basis for in-person interpreting. Large interpreting agencies usually offer remote and on-site interpreting services, operate 24 hours a day, and hire both direct employees and contractors to meet their clients’ demands.Government organizations: In countries where the law provides for equal access to services provided or sponsored by the government. Linguists, including interpreters, work in a variety of organizations. In the United States, these include the Social Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and the Department of Defense. Some interpreters work on a per-diem, long-term contract, or shift basis at courts, social services agencies, law enforcement agencies, and public schools. The norm for government agencies is to post a solicitation or tender for interpreting services, and choose among a number of bidders. This means that interpreters are usually NOT hired directly by a government agency, but by the interpreting company selected for the government contract.

Private companies: Although less frequently, many interpreters may find permanent assignments as staff interpreters at medical practices and international companies.

Specialized interpreters, i.e., those who specialize in medical or judicial interpreting beyond general interpreting training, will find regular work at hospitals and in the court system, respectively.

I want to cancel my course registration. What's your policy on cancellations?

We hate to see our students to go, but if you decide to cancel, here are our policies:

  • Students who wish to cancel their course registration should notify in writing.
  • If the cancellation request is received within 10 days of the initial starting date, we will remove the student from the course and refund the course registration, less a 10% cancellation. The initial starting dates is indicated within the initial registration notification email.  
  • If the cancellation request is received after 10 days from the initial starting date, we will remove the student from the course, but no refund will be given

Should VII cancel a course, the student will be notified of the cancellation and will receive information about any refunds from our system administrator.


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