Laughter, excitement, tears (of joy) and lots of creativity. These words best describe the last day of the CIG course.

The Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) training was held for the second time this year in Zaprešić, in the Novi Dvori castle of the governor Jelačić. The course was organised by the Tourist Board of the City of Zaprešić. The course usually lasts five days but the tourist board provided an additional day of training dedicated to communication skills and public speaking.

Attendees learn from each other
Building on their previous work from various interactive tasks and detailed exercises, the participants gradually revealed the meaning in their final interpretive talks and showed the difference between great interpretation and what a presentation or tourist guide looks like when they use only facts. Everyone designed a gift to give to the other attendees, although it was neither an instruction nor an obligation. They put a lot of effort into the visual presentation and included all of our senses. Precisely because of the diverse society and numerous group tasks, the participants learned a lot from each other.

As a Chinese proverb says: “Teachers open the door, but you have to enter on your own”.
I believe that these participants entered the methodology and understood the importance of heritage interpretation and preservation, how they can use various techniques to increase the interest and involve visitors and provide them with leadership experience and arouse emotions to find a deeper meaning. The spark of interpretation was thrown in and the fire started. And the proof of that was in the great creative and detailed presentations of intangible heritage that the participants presented on the last day of their course. We were treated to presentations on topics from the traditional housewife and woollen socks to the history of the castle, coats of arms, tiny nativity scenes and gingerbread hearts.

Looking to the future
Adrenaline, desire for certification, and the good energy created among the participants are the best incentives. After the first CIG training in Zaprešić in June this year, several participants have already experienced change in their lives, securing jobs leading interpretive walks and even working in theatre. Lifelong learning never ends and it is always a good idea to invest in yourself.

Ivana Zrilić is an IE Certified Interpretive Trainer. She is a licensed tourist guide for several Croatian regions and since February 2017 has been working as a mentor/ teacher in the Lifelong Learning of the Baltazar University in Zagreb, sharing her knowledge and more than 20 years’ experience in guiding with new generations of tour guides. You can contact her at:

To cite this article: Zrilić, Ivana (2020) ‘The second CIG course in Zaprešić‘. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2020, 15.

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