Studying law as an international student
Indre Kazlausskaite, LLB Law student:
The prospect of studying law as an international student seems daunting: how am I going to adapt to a new country and manage to study such a difficult subject in a foreign language? Am I not disadvantaged in terms of career prospects because I am an international student? These were my concerns before coming to Queen Mary.
28 July 2014
Although I was afraid of being left to cope with my concerns alone, the supportive QM services staff I met at the first day and friendly and diverse student body made my adaptation period much easier. The presence of many QM societies uniting people from the same country and with similar interests allowed me to become friends with people who were in similar position as me. The support and warm welcome I felt immediately after I arrived at QM helped me accept London as my second home easier and sooner.
At first, studying law seemed difficult. I was worried that all the concepts, apart from being new and taught in a foreign language, would be explained from a different perspective which I may find hard to understand as a foreigner. Although I found studying law challenging, I soon started enjoying it after I found that my professors were approachable, modules were all comprehensibly structured and that grey areas of law were widely discussed, thus increasing my enthusiasm to read more about the subject. In hindsight, I see that my decision to study law as an international student has been correct. I have not only developed a genuine interest in law and learnt skills such as adaptation to changing situations and determination to achieve the best possible results that are necessary for a lawyer, but also learnt to challenge myself and to leave my ‘comfort zone’.
At QM, I truly value the opportunity to be engaged with various extracurricular activities, such as the Legal Advice Centre, Law Society, Bar Society, Women Working in Law and the Pro Bono Society and to participate in mooting and negotiation competitions. My experience of joining the Law Society Careers Committee has been very positive. I not only had an opportunity to experience the organisation of careers events and to gain skills such as communication and time management, but also to liaise directly with law firms and government service which will benefit me in the future.
I believe that my involvement with societies and participation in competitions was not only a great chance to approach subjects studied in a classroom from a different perspective and enhance my experience at QM, but it also provided me with an invaluable opportunity to increase my employability prospects in the UK as I would be able to show skills law firms are looking for. My experience at QM has taught me to approach legal problems like a lawyer and provided me with an opportunity to become a more open-minded and responsible person. I believe this makes my choice of studying law at QM the right one.