During August, Interpret Europe organised international courses for interpretive guides and guide trainers. This is a personal response to taking part in this training.

The training courses took place in the idyllic setting of Kaprálův mlýn near Brno, Czech Republic. They were organised by Interpret Europe in cooperation with SIMID, the Czech Association for Heritage Interpretation. The courses were supported by the Swiss government, which helped interpreters from many countries, including my home country, Croatia, to take part.

There were two parallel courses. One of them was led by Valya Stergioti from Greece, assisted by Sandy Colvine (France). The other one was led by Thorsten Ludwig (Germany) assisted by Steven Richards-Price (UK). Judging by the impressions of all of the participants, it seems that both groups of participants were equally happy with their trainers and the results of the courses. The courses were attended by 37 participants from 16 countries.

I participated in the training for Certified Interpretive Guides (CIG) under the guidance of Valya Stregioti and Sandy Colvine. I’m writing this article three weeks after the course, and I am convinced that this was the most useful training I have ever participated in to improve my guiding skills. In fact, I’m already being very conscious about many details I could improve in my work, and I’m already trying to incorporate new knowledge into my guiding. I’m testing it almost on a daily basis, and it seems to be working. I can feel my guests being more dragged into the stories than they were before.

But even before I had a chance to try out the new skills, I came home from the course with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Before the training, I was a little worried whether it would be worth it. I run interpretive city tours in my home town Zagreb, and the courses were organised in the middle of the tourist season. I went with some hesitation and doubts, fearing that I might have made a bad choice. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I would be very disappointed if the course wasn’t good. But it was above all my expectations, perfectly organised and handled and incredibly inspirational.

It’s not over; my new friends from all over Europe and I are not certified guides or guide trainers yet. The course left us with some practical assignments before we earn the certificate. This is yet another plus, because it shows that Interpret Europe is serious about setting up standards for interpretation. It is also very fulfilling to work on the tasks again, and to put all the gained knowledge to use. The assignments are not easy and take a lot of work, but that’s precisely what makes this course so rewarding. It is a journey worth taking for everyone involved in interpretation.

Bookmark this link not to miss new Interpret Europe training possibilites: https://www.interpret-europe.net/top/training.html

Iva Silla creates interpretive walking tours of her hometown Zagreb and was one of the participants in CIG training this summer. Contact her at iva@secret-zagreb.com.

To cite this article:
Silla, I. (2016) ‘Impressions from a CIG training course’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 3-2016, 5

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