In this week’s interview, we talk to PhD holder Darya Kaysina, a TCLoc student who hails from Kharkiv, Ukraine. Her background as an Associate Professor of Translation and Interpreting and a personal project in board game localization are what sparked her interest in TCLoc’s wide-ranging, career-oriented master’s in localization. Let’s hear some more from Darya in her own words!
Darya’s Experiences of TCLoc, a Career-Oriented Master’s in Localization
Please could you introduce yourself?
My name is Darya Kaysina and I’m from Kharkiv, Ukraine. I’m an Associate Professor at Karazin University, where I teach translation and interpreting, which is what I got my first master’s degree in. And that’s what led me to the world of localization. Outside of work, in my free time, I love traveling—at least, as much as is possible right now with the pandemic. And I love board games. That’s how I spend a lot of my time when I can’t travel.
Could you tell us about your decision to apply to TCLoc?
By the age of 24, I had two master degrees and I had just got my PhD in philology. And for some people, that might seem like: okay, so now you get to enjoy all the fruit from your tree that has blossomed so well. But personally, I started to get curious about what exactly was beyond the horizon of translation. I began to ask myself: how can I use these skills, these techniques, and how can I expand on the processes involved?
And that’s how I got interested in localization in general, and in technical communication as well. The first aspect of localization that interested me was related to board games, which I’m a big fan of. I even embarked on a personal project to localize a board game just for myself and my family. From doing that, I understood just how many technical issues are involved beyond just translation.
This mystique is what I believe brought me to this program. I started to look for some courses or masters in localization. However, in Ukraine, in Russia, and in Belarus, this field is not really developed yet. It’s just at the beginning of its path and there is still some way to go. So, after not being able to find any related courses or programs in Ukraine, I had to search in the Western world. And TCLoc was the program that I found and fell in love with.
How TCLoc Stacks Up Against The Competition
Before applying to TCLoc, what other programs or universities did you consider?
I must say that, yes, there was one other option. It was the University of Washington. However, their curriculum was just about localization and internationalization. It didn’t deal with technical communication at all. And another downside to that degree was its price. It was $50,000 per year. But then I found the University of Strasbourg and TCLoc—a career-oriented master’s in localization, which has a much wider curriculum, with all the topics I had always wanted to discover, such as programming languages, project management, localization, and machine translation. And that’s why I didn’t consider any other options after I found TCLoc.
TCLoc: It’s Not Just The Foundations of Your Career: It’s The Whole Building!
What would you say the main benefits of TCLoc are?
The first advantage would be the curriculum, as I have mentioned, because it’s just perfect. I think that it gives you fully comprehensive knowledge in this field. So you don’t need to look any further—I believe this program gives you not just the foundation, but also the walls and even the roof to this building that is your professional career. And you can even create your own interior design! (laughs) I also loved that the program was online, but at the same time, it was not 100% online, as we had the opportunity to attend on-campus meetings. That was very important for me. It was so good to have this breath of fresh air that is real life communication.
During your studies, how helpful and accessible were the instructors?
They were very accessible and very helpful. Whatever you needed, they would assist you in all possible ways. I received both academic and personal support from the staff, both during and after our live session. So any questions that you might ask, they would be answered instantly. And there’s a great policy, which is that there are no stupid questions, so even if you feel a bit confused, just a bit unsure about something, you feel free to ask. And personally, I knew that if I had any doubts relating to absolutely anything, I would get the answer.
TCLoc: An Online, Career-Oriented Master’s in Localization That Fits Around Your Life
Was it hard to manage your time? How did you balance your studies with your personal and professional life?
I believe that in this case, it’s not so much about the program being online—actually, the fact that the program is online is a huge advantage because it allows you to watch the lectures in the evenings, for example. It is very demanding in terms of the number of hours, as whatever you do, online or offline, there are only 24 hours in a day, and it can be hard to balance everything, so you should be ready to make some sacrifices. Hopefully, you won’t need to, but you should at least be mentally prepared, and you should clearly understand your priorities and what comes first, what you cannot say no to and what you can put off until later.
Do you have any advice for future students?
Definitely apply to TCLoc. Absolutely everything is included and provided. You can choose to do it in either 12 or 17 months, starting in January or in June, or you can even choose a 24-month option. It’s very flexible. If you want to learn localization and technical communication, I would definitely recommend TCLoc.
Want to Find Out More?
We hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as we enjoyed talking to Darya. If you’d like to read more about the curriculum and what TCLoc has to offer, including localization, technical communication, programming and more, check out the course syllabus.