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Developing an Interpreter Contract

Two women using sign language

Protect yourself and the needs of the interpreter by laying out expectations in advance of the international exchange program.

When developing an interpreter contract, be sure to include the following:

All Interpreter/Provider Duties and Expectations

Establish which activities are optional and which are required activities. Social and cultural experiences may be essential part of the experience. If host families are part of the program, then interpreting services may be needed for activities with the host family as well.

Hours and Dates of Service

Intepreters/providers often are not available at all hours. Be sure to include all activities determined essential to the program, such as tours, field trips and volunteer events. Discuss communication strategies for when interpreters/providers are not available.

Salary or Flat Rate

Will you pay hourly, by day/week/month, or by a flat rate for the duration of the program?

Liability and Codes of Conduct

What types of coverage does your program provide in the event of an unforeseen circumstance? What are the standards or codes of conduct that all professional staff on your international exchange program are expected to model?


Clearly outline what expenses will or won’t be included in the contract, such as housing, meals and transportation.

Contingencies for Termination of Contract or Emergencies

Should an interpreter need to terminate shortly before or during a program, what are their responsibilities? How will you plan for contacting the interpreter in the event of an emergency?

See a sample contract in the downloadable Documents.

This article is part of the International Education Professional Pathway.

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