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Traineeships at the ECML

Traineeship areas and main tasks

Administration traineeship

Michael Armstrong
Head of Administration

Qualifications and skills required

  • be graduate or postgraduate students;
  • have very good knowledge of English or French which are the Council of Europe working languages, and, if possible, a basic knowledge of German;
  • be accurate and pay attention to detail, especially when dealing with figures;
  • be interested in accounting and administrative tasks;
  • be motivated and capable of working efficiently in a team and within the overall framework of the European Centre for Modern Languages.

Main tasks include:

  • assistance in the further development of a relational 'Projects' database (linked to the existing mailing database);
  • assistance in the implementation of Windream (Document Management Software), in particular development of a training guide ;
  • processing of financial documentation;
  • photocopying/scanning, classification according to budgetary article, registration of mailings, preparation of mailing to Strasbourg;
  • corrections to the ECML mailing database (correcting/inputting of already existing information;
  • entering of bank details into ECML database;
  • preparation of workshop documentation relating to prepaid tickets, hotel reservation forms;
  • preparation of reimbursement forms and assistance in registration of participants prior to workshops, network or expert meetings
  • Trainees will also be involved in the preparation and organisation of the events organised within the framework of the ECML's programme of activities.

By the end of their stay, trainees will have gained:

  1. an insight into administrative work of an international organisation;
  2. experience in team work in an international, plurilingual and multicultural environment;
  3. an opportunity to develop their language skills by ideally using three working languages (English, French and German);

Traineeship at the communication, documentation and resource centre (CDRC)

Catherine Seewald

The CDRC is mainly targeted at academic users and professionals working in the field of language education.

Its information, communication, documentation and editing role: The centre supplies information on the ECML and its activities; disseminates ECML documentation; maintains a library of all ECML project publications, Council of Europe publications in connected areas, and the John Trim collection (Council of Europe work in 1971-1997 and other materials in the field of language education ); contributes to the ECML's external communication (social media,  coordination of the ECML e-newsletter "The European Language Gazette", drafting e-news); and is involved in publishing work (copyright issues, proofreading of ECML publications).

Trainee qualifications and skills

  • Studies preferably in the field of library, information or communication sciences;
  • a very good knowledge of one of the Council of Europe working languages (English or French) and, if possible, a basic knowledge of  the second working language;
  • good organisation and communication skills;
  • motivation, accuracy, flexibility;
  • ability to work efficiently in a team and independently.

Trainees may help with the following tasks:

Trainees work together with the ECML's documentalist and participate in the daily activities of the CDRR.

  • General tasks: completing general tasks to ensure the smooth operation of the day to day running of the CCDR; assistance to the participants in ECML workshops and meetings. 
  • Information, documentation and logistics support: information and documentary assistance (individual requests, documentation orders, delivery notes, proforma invoices, diplomatic shipments, packaging, coordination of logistics); ECML project workshops and expert meeting assistance (preparing the meeting rooms, participants' folders and publication stands, provision of logistical support to participants).
  • Presentation of the ECML resources during guided tours and visits: for international groups of experts, students, school groups.
  • ECML website development (www.ecml.at): updating of the web pages relating to language education and ECML expertise in the member and partner states.
  • Editorial work / Translations (according to the trainees' background): translation of e-news items from and into English and French; editing them on the ECML website.
  • Library work: cataloguing resources of the ECML “John Trim Collection”, writing short content and thematic descriptions; maintaining book loan records.

By the end of their stay, trainees will have gained:

  1. Practical experience in communication, information and documentation work with transferable skills that are valued in numerous professions, working experience in a multilingual and multicultural context.
  2. Experience in the activities of the Council of Europe in the field of language education, the coordination of international projects, as well as  the management of a specialised resource centre.
  3. An opportunity to develop their language skills by working in a multilingual environment and living in a German speaking country.

Website traineeship

Christian Friedrich

Working with websites sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is! You don't need to have programming experience to apply.

As a webtrainee you will be assisting Chris in working on the visual output of the Centre. This involves many different and interesting areas, mainly 

  • working with websites
    adding/updating information and learning how to develop the various sites of the ECML and its projects
  • working on publications and flyers
    learn how to layout and edit documents with Indesign

Additional tasks include:

  • organisation of the European Day of Languages. Throughout Europe, hundreds of activities celebrating language diversity and promoting language learning are held on 26 September each year.
  • supporting local ECML project activities
  • contribute to the ECML communication strategy and to the promotion of the Centre

Trainee qualification and skills

You should:

  • be graduate students or preferably at postgraduate level
  • be plurilingual (our working languages are English and French)
  • be accurate and flexible
  • be able to work autonomously on a specific project under the guidance of the webmaster
  • be motivated and capable of working efficiently in a team and within the overall framework of the European Centre for Modern Languages.

By the end of your stay, you will have gained

  • knowledge in working with websites
  • working with Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Indesign and HTML
  • the experience of working in a multilingual environment
  • practical experience in
    • communication work with transferable skills that are valued in numerous professions
    • managing a complex, multilingual website
    • working with desktop publishing
    • an international organisation
    • dealing with an international audience of language experts
  • the experience of living in a German speaking country
  • an opportunity to develop language skills

Programme traineeship

Margit Huber
Logistics and
Programme Assistant

Our role, in programme and logistics, is to take care of all the practical aspects of the organisation of workshops and meetings, so that the project teams can concentrate on the project itself. It involves mainly:

  • liaising with the coordinators to fix practical details;
  • contacting the workshop participants and sending them all kind of documents (practical like hotel and travel documents, invitation letters, etc, but also sometimes serving as a relay between the teams and the participants). It means preparing the documents, formatting them, mailing and filing them;
  • assisting the teams and participants during workshops and meetings so that everything runs smoothly;
  • assisting in follow-up of activities, reporting and online documentation.

The tasks are divided between the programme assistant, the programme secretary and the trainee. Since we are always preparing a dozen meetings in parallel, which are at various stages of advancement; this requires from all people involved:
- considerable flexibility;
- the ability to work under pressure (we sometimes are like a restaurant where everyone wants to eat at the same time: "le coup de feu" as the French say);
- being organised and thorough in each detail;
- the ability to cope with a certain level of uncertainty, since we sometimes have to react to unexpected problems, despite the fact that we try to map the road as efficiently as possible.

The traineeship offers a good insight into what it takes to run projects and the amount of work that is necessary to reach the level where project participants don't even realise the heavy machinery which lies behind events;.
It teaches how to function in a team, which is a very important aspect;.
The trainee will also have the opportunity to get familiar with the aspects of language education covered by our projects and to meet people who are active in these fields.

Another aspect of programme is keeping track of what is happening - and this means keeping statistical records of events and participation - and translating them into digestable information at the end of the year for our annual reports. It does not mean the trainee needs to be a top-class mathematician, basic Excel skills and a clear mind are what it takes. And basically a good understanding of what the ECML is about. This comes progressively during the traineeship.

We like trainees to suggest ways in which they can contribute to the Centre's work in relation to their own specific skills, competences and interests… this depends on each individual.