My Exchange

-Judy Zhao
I’m currently on exchange at the University of Nottingham in the UK, using up 4 of my law electives to study European Union Law, Corporate Insolvency, Child Law and Criminal Justice on a pass/fail basis. There is a good variety of both domestic and international law courses to choose from and it isn’t difficult to take domestic law courses here, as our legal systems are very alike.

It’s weirdly similar to ANU in some ways: there are tutorials every fortnight (although most tutorials only have 7 people so you can’t escape your readings), each course has about 2 hours of lectures a week, and lecture theatres are lined with rows of Macbooks and coffee cups. But here, the lectures aren’t recorded and I must admit this semester is the first time I’ve kept up with the coursework. There are also only 8 weeks worth of lectures here, but the content is taught quickly so you learn a similar amount here in comparison to ANU.

Also, all my assessments are exams or essays worth 100%. Oh, and the exams are closed-book. Yep, no notes, no textbooks, just pure memorisation. However, you can choose to write an essay as an alternative assessment, which is what I have done, leaving me with 1 exam and 3 essays to complete.

I hope I haven’t turned you off from applying to Nottingham because I’ve truly had a really great experience so far! I have made friends with UK students through societies and at my college called Cripps Hall, I’ll be travelling through Ireland, Scotland and Italy with my exchange friends during the 1 month long mid-semester break, and my social life is definitely peaking. There are so many active societies so there’s always an event to go to, and a huge variety of sports to try out and play. Also, every night can be a night out here.

Career-wise, there are many great opportunities for law students, such as volunteering through the Pro Bono Society, participating in competitions, and of course, the many events by the Law Society. (Disclaimer: I haven’t actually joined the Law Society, but I do know they’re one of the best societies here).

I’ve only been on exchange for six weeks but I’m already beginning to dread leaving this place. This semester has really made me aware of, and appreciate, how many opportunities students are given to get involved, and when time is limited, you really do try and make the most of it. If you’re thinking of applying for a law exchange, don’t hesitate and just do it because if you want a review of my experience so far, it’s 11 out of 10, would exchange again.

Opportunities: Commonwealth Youth Forum, Malta

– Carys Atkinson

Malta 2015 Commonwealth Youth Forum 2

What is the Commonwealth? Who are these nations and what are they doing? Are they just a bunch of countries that get together and put on a poor man’s Olympics? While the answer to that is technically yes, Commonwealth Nations also represent 1.2 billion youth across 53 nations and do some pretty fantastic things.

Last November, I was given the opportunity to represent Australian Youth at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Malta. The Conference, along with 3 other forums, runs as a precursor to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). With 200 Youth Delegates from around the Commonwealth participating there was a variety of agenda meetings, panel discussions and plenary sessions to discuss the theme; ‘Adding Global Value: What Next?’ Although, I did not act as the official (voting) Australian Delegate, I represented the student led organisation CommonYouth Australia, who work with young people in Australia to increase awareness and engagement with the Commonwealth. The forum provides a space for Commonwealth youth to come together and work on action plans for a number of serious global issues, such as quality and inclusive education, creating alternate pathways for accessing medical and health services, youth policy and youth work, youth unemployment, youth entrepreneurship, climate change, disaster relief, human rights, peace and security and many, many more.

Although the week was jam-packed, there was some well-earned sightseeing time. This included getting to explore the incredible history of Malta, as well as getting to see the city of Mdina (where Game of Throne’s King’s Landing is set). Between sightseeing and incredible speakers such as Maltese government officials, UN officers and even experts and youth, delegates shared their real life struggles. This included topics such as the general failure of governments, and also closer-to-home issues such as youths faced with extreme problems of poverty, access to medical services, unemployment and more. Almost every delegate had an amazing story to tell or a crazy passion to see the world change! It is both an inspiration and intimidating to have been a part of such a motivated group of people from across the world.

If you would like to know more about the Commonwealth, the Youth Forum or CommonYouth Australia check out the links below.