I have a German "Diplom" (5-year program) degree of translation for German, English and Italian. I graduated in August of 2008 and am currently working in Muscat, Oman as an English teacher.
I signed up at proz.com because I would like to gain more work experience and earn some extra money as a freelance translator. Throughout my course of study, I specialized in general engineering. I also translated texts on Indian tribes, newspaper articles on diverse topics, and websites. Furthermore, I learned how to work with TRADOS. Since I do not possess the program, however, I do not have the opportunity to use it as a freelance translator.
I have experienced many different cultures. I studied abroad in the US (Tennessee) for 1.5 years and went to summer school in Italy for 3 months. I have traveled to many countries including Canada, the US, Australia, most European countries, the UAE, and am currently living in Oman. Cultural experience is crucial for being a good translator, in my opinion, because only then do you really know how to adapt your translation to the needs of the people living in the country/countries of your target language.