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.