Translating documents for student exchange programs

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Translation is mandatory for those who want to go on an exchange program

A student exchange program is a dream of many people who want to get to know the culture of other countries and get as much as they can from their experience. Nevertheless, there is a relevant and often forgotten detail: the importance of document translators.


Translators are indispensable for those who want to go on a student exchange program because the translation services offered by them allow travelers to be properly identified and to comply with the applicable regulations of the country they are visiting.


Let’s learn more about the popularity of these professionals nowadays, their importance and what documents often require translation.


Is the demand for document translators high?


Yes, it is. Just like the number of Brazilians who go on an exchange program, which has also increased considerably.


According to the Brazilian Association of Student Exchange Program Agencies (Belta), the Brazilian foreign education market grew 23% in 2017, a number that attracts attention on its own and shows high interest in exchange program experiences.


In addition, Belta also announced that in 2017, the number of exchange students was the highest so far, reaching 302,000. The average investment in courses abroad has also increased to USD 9,989, approximately BRL 33,000 according to the foreign exchange rate at the time.


This makes document translators an increasingly sought-after professional, since their services are indispensable to help students comply with all the paperwork and, therefore, have a smooth travel experience.


Translators, who can also be sworn translators, are responsible for translating – in full – all documents that need to be submitted to another country in its official language.


You may not know why a sworn translation is required, but the answer is quite simple: to make your documents understandable by relevant official agencies and institutions in a foreign country, since everything will be translated to the country’s official language.


However, sworn translations are different compared to traditional translation services. Sworn translators have authority to attest documents, that is, they are authorized by law to grant legal validity to the documents they translate, so they are equally valid in a foreign country.


See also: Who is entitled to translate official documents?


What are the most common documents that require translation?


Documents can vary according to the requirements of the country in question, but some of the common documents that require translation are the following, which have been divided by type:


  • Identity  documents: passport, identity card, professional driver’s license, civil registry certificate.


  • Personal documents: letter of recommendation, medical statements, certificate of proof of income, TOEFL certificate (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate, attestation of vaccination.


  • School and academic documents: certificate of high school completion, certificate of higher education completion, school records, graduation history, registration statement, diplomas, research project description.


  • Legal documents: bank statements, initial petitions, court records, proxies.


In short, any legally valid document that has to be submitted in foreign territory must be handed to a sworn translator to be translated and attested, so that exchange students can submit it abroad without any problem.


What happens if documents are not accompanied by their respective sworn translations?

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It is as if the document did not exist, since it will not be attested abroad written in the language of its country of origin. The consequences will depend on which document is lacking translation, but there are only negative consequences.


If you are going on an exchange program associated with your degree, for example, and you did not submit the academic documents required with their respective sworn translations, chances are you won’t be able to complete enrollment when you get to the institution.


If you don’t submit translated bank statements, for example, you may not be able to get through immigration, as it is common for countries to request proof of financial status that shows travelers can maintain themselves financially for as long as they are in the country.


Even if you are lucky enough to find someone who speaks your language when you have to submit a document, which means that they can understand what is written, the document itself will have no legal validity, as it has not gone through certified translation.


This would be virtually the same as submitting a copy of a document in your country of origin without it being authenticated, which also does not confer any validity before the law.


That is why your paperwork needs to be planned carefully way before your trip, especially service requests to reliable and experienced document translators, to avoid any kind of problem when you are abroad.


How to choose a good document translator?


The best alternative is to look for a specialized and experienced translation agency that works with certified professionals who are able to meet all your needs with top quality.


The importance of sworn translation is quite clear now. The translation process should include all documents that have to be submitted on your exchange program, Also, selecting the right professionals should be a careful activity.


Sworn translations can only be provided by Public Translators and Commercial Interpreters (TPIC), experts who have passed a public examination held by the Commercial Board of their State of residence and who are duly empowered.


The service provided by sworn translators doesn’t change much linguistically speaking compared to that provided by other translators, except for the need to be familiar with technical and legal terminology. Also, exercise of the profession is different due to the need to attest translations.


Therefore, you have to be very careful with your choice. Only translators who meet all of the criteria above are able to effectively translate your documents and allow your exchange program to go as smoothly as possible.


If you plan to go on a student exchange program, either in the near future or not, don’t hesitate to hire a professional sworn translator, who is experienced and works for a translation agency that is recognized for its quality. Then, your trip will be unforgettable, and you will not have to worry about all the paperwork.

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