Meetup Groups + Events for Localization Students

By Helen Jung

Hi, there! My name is Helen Jung, a first-year Translation and Localization Management student here at MIIS.

Before I get to the main topic of this post, I cannot express with words how ecstatic I am to be writing on this blog as a student – before I started my application process, I remember myself diligently reading through the posts here, checking the blog a couple times a week to see if there was any update, reading about others’ experiences of being a MIIS student, daydreaming about what that would be like… It all now seems just a week ago.

My first semester flew by with no room to catch my breath. And I’m sure it has something to do with how busy MIIS students get during the school year, with their overloaded classes, jobs, group projects, study appointments, individual practices, assignments, and school events – it’s no joke. But even in the craze of all things that make us lose our head sometimes, there’s always something fun and exciting to look forward to. For me, that was attending monthly localization events in Silicon Valley. Often hosted by coveted tech companies in the area, such as Google, Adobe, Facebook, and LinkedIn, these meetings provide students an excellent opportunity to get away from school (even if it’s just for a night), network with working professionals, and receive the latest industry information.

In this post, I would like to talk about my two favorite localization meetup groups.


IMUG: The International Multilingual User Group


Originally founded at Stanford University under a different name, IMUG has been hosting forums for globalization, localization, and internationalization professionals since 1987. It holds monthly meetings in the Silicon Valley area at top tech companies, always bringing interesting speakers and topics to the discussion table as you can see in the image below!

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Just last week, Google hosted an IMUG event which focused on Adlam, an alphabetic script created for the Fulani language spoken across 20 countries in Africa.

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Each IMUG event costs $5 to attend for non-members, but you can purchase an annual membership for $20, and a lifetime membership for $100. Considering the amount of interesting information and networking opportunities you can get through these events, I think the lifetime membership is more than worth it, especially if you are in the Bay Area! Some great facts about IMUG: one, it uploads recordings of each event on its website and YouTube channel for everyone to watch. Two, it has a job board on its website and some companies post localization job openings only on this forum – exclusive to members only!


Women in Localization


Women in Localization events are free to attend for everyone, even if you aren’t a member. And in case you are wondering at the name, you don’t have to be a woman to be a member! Both males and females are welcome to join the group. 😊 I feel that Women in Localization is a very close-knit, family-like community and is rapidly expanding – the group was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, but now has chapters all over the world; the most recent openings include Poland and Argentina.

Unlike IMUG’s monthly meetings, Women in L10n’s meetings are held every few months. I had the opportunity to attend a lightening talk session at Box (hosted by a MIIS alumna Hanna Kanabiajeuskaja, a localization product manager at Box) and a holiday networking event in downtown Sunnyvale.

At Box – listening attentively to speakers

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The speakers of the day (and three of them were MIIS alumni! Represent!!!)

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Holiday networking event in downtown Sunnyvale – it was a great opportunity to meet and chat casually with working professionals.

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The localization industry is quite small to begin with, but MIIS TLM professors have a close connection with industry professionals and organizers of these groups and will often invite them to campus as guest speakers. Just recently, the co-founder of Women in Localization visited MIIS with her team at NetApp to give her advice to students about globalization.

Anna Schlegel, the co-founder of Women in Localization and Sr. Director of Globalization at NetApp

NetApp’s globalization team

This was a very brief overview of just two localization groups in the area – if you are curious about them and would like to find out more information, please visit their official websites through the links provided above! And even if you are not a TLM major (or a student even), I would still highly encourage everyone to attend these events because you can get a very good sense of what happens when language meets business and technology – what are the issues and challenges that we need to overcome as language professionals, and how can we better connect all individuals across the world despite linguistic and cultural barriers and without excluding anyone? Such ideas are at the heart of all programs at MIIS and its global-minded students.

Thank you for reading!

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