Don't count your chickens until they hatch

Interpreting during the accreditation process of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Teramo


Francesca and I worked together on the Commission's first visit in 2021, and again during the second and final visit in October 2022.

During the first visit, which lasted 3 days, Francesca had asked for 3 interpreters because it was the first visit after several years – 7 experts in different areas of veterinary training visited all the university spaces, organized in three groups to see the veterinary hospital, the classrooms, the laboratories, and the teaching farm. 

The next year, the Commission came back to Teramo to assess the deficiencies that it had identified during the last visit to see if they had been resolved or if improvements were underway. Three months before the event Francesca emailed me with all the necessary information I needed to send a detailed quote:


  • Dates: October 24-25 (1 working dinner with the Commission and 1 full day)
  • Types of interpreting: liaison, consecutive, and chuchotage
  • Interpreter(s): 1
  • Languages: from English to Italian and vice versa
  • Site: classroom of the University of Teramo
  • Participants: 10

In the quote that I sent, I specified that travel, board, and lodging expenses would be at their expense.

If you're also planning an event in several languages and want me to support you to communicate with your foreign guests, write me and let's work together. 


Having already interpreted during the first EAEVE visit, the preparation was fairly fast. I dusted off the Italian-English glossary where I had collected all the terms and acronyms tied to the topics that would be the subject of the visit (disciplines, educational plans, teaching laboratories and equipment, animals, university offices, staff, and the academic system, teaching staff, quality standards, accounting and so on) and I studied the Commission's report on the first visit so I could be aware of the deficiencies that had prevented the Faculty from obtaining accreditation immediately. I completed my preparation by learning about the people who would take part in the meetings.

On October 24, I took the train and got to Teramo well in advance of the working dinner, which was to be held in the hotel where I was staying. I got to the lobby 15 minutes before the set schedule and I waited for the Dean of the Faculty, two other teachers, and the Commission to get there. 

Once everyone was there, we sat at a table with me next to the Dean to whisper the translation to him. During the evening I created a relaxed environment where everyone felt comfortable communicating in their preferred language. I translated the menu for the Commission members. I facilitated their communication with the waiter (so they could tell him their preferences and note any food intolerances or allergies), and I made sure the Dean could follow the conversation and engage. 

The next day, I interpreted during the meetings for the Commission, the Dean of Faculty, and a small group of university professors. Interpretation proved essential here. Even though some there understood English, the Commission's very specific questions needed to be understood in the minutest detail and the answers needed a clear, precise translation from Italian into English.

Without an interpreter, a question might have been misunderstood, a wrong answer given and the Commission would have had to reformulate the question, leading to stress and an unnecessary waste of time.

On my side, a concept translated poorly or too vaguely could have sent the wrong information and undermined the entire Faculty's hard work, from the Dean down to every student. 

Once the commission members were done with their assessment, the Dean wanted to take them on a tour of central Teramo. I supported them on the tour by translating information about its history and art.

The Commission's visit ended with an informal dinner in which the President, Faculty Dean, and several professors and students from the University took part. 

The next day I returned home with a new experience tucked into my luggage.


In a sensitive, important situation like this visit, when the Faculty was “under examination,” I realized more than ever how important it was to convey not just the words but the tone of voice, gestures, expressions, and silences communicate.

Being able to grasp the intentions and mindsets of the commission members when they addressed Faculty members, and convey them through the translation let the Dean and everyone there have a very clear understanding of the situation and the direction that the Commission's final decision was moving in.

A few months after the visit, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine received final accreditation from EAEVE, a recognition that places the Faculty among the best in the world for high standards of quality, research, and innovation.

"I had a chance to meet Ms. Laura Cavalli at the visit to the EAEVE Commission at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Teramo from November 8 to 12, 2021. She was very well-prepared, professional, and able to work many hours consecutively in teams. She is collaborative and has excellent problem-solving skills. Her solid training is clear when applied in the field. An excellent interpreting service ENG/ITA, ITA/ENG!"

Francesca Vaccarelli – Associate Professor of English Language and Translation at the Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Teramo

Francesca Vaccarelli, Associate Professor of English Language and Translation at the Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Teramo, contacted me on the suggestion of Lorenzo, a dear colleague of mine. 

Together we made sure that there were no language barriers during the EAEVE Commission's visit to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The commission is responsible for the university accreditation of faculties that achieve specific quality standards in teaching and research. 

I chose to work on Francesca's project because I immediately saw how important the visit was and the responsibility that I would have: If the University could communicate effectively with the commission members and give a transparent account of the work they have done to achieve this recognition, it would give them national and European prestige and the students would be certain that they had the highest quality standards to achieve all their professional goals. 


Depending on the type of project, we will choose the best type of interpreting for you. 

Are you planning a business lunch or dinner with your guests? I can help you there too through my private event interpreting service. 

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You can contact me whenever you want, and I will respond from Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM CEST, excluding holidays. 

I always try to answer as quickly as possible, generally within 24 hours. When I am out of the office or on vacation, you will get an automated response. 

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    I'm Laura Cavalli and I interpret and translate Italian, English, and Spanish for people who want to reach across languages and cultures to share knowledge, stories, and experiences, expanding their horizons.

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