By Elvinas Kukys a 1st year, soon to be 2nd year law student at London Met, Co-founder of and contributor to the v2lawblog and proud to be London met. August 2013.
Originally I came from Lithuania and I decided to study in the United Kingdom. Fortuitously I came across London Metropolitan University.
When I arrived in London the kind of thoughts running through my head were much as you’d expect from an international student arriving in London: “Will I understand what the lecturers are saying? Will I know how to ask for an explanation? Just don’t be embarrassed to ask! I hope no one will laugh at my accent”.
I became more relaxed after the enrolment, when I saw that everyone was really helpful, and that communicating and making friends was effortless. This gave me the confidence to overcome my concerns and to realise that it won’t be anything like as hard as I feared after all.
The first day of Freshers’ Week started, as in every university, with meeting and getting to know about the faculty staff, the dean, course leaders and librarians. However, unexpectedly the day ended with our first assignment as law students. We received our first case to read at home and try to answer some simple (now they look simple, but less so at the time!) questions about the case. “Well, we came here to study law” I thought and doing this ‘first assignment’ got me involved in law from the very first day.
The Freshers’ Week was amazingly fun: We were given a tour around the university’s buildings and later we were put into groups for a scavenger hunt. Almost every evening the university’s club was open (What? My university has its own club! No one will believe that…). What I liked about the ‘Rocket’ was the fact it was spacious, had pool tables and separate “chill” zones. What’s more, the University taking into consideration the often bleak financial position of students, allowed free entry for students and the drinks we’re very reasonably priced.
Alright, I partied hard, but then it was time to get back to studying; after all that’s why I was there. The semester started slowly at first. I think the lecturers did not want to scare us that first week. It was time for me to face the truth… Did I really know English well enough to study in England? I was please to discover the answer was “Yes”. The lecturers speak very clearly and you can hardly notice any local accent at all. Now I understand how wrong I was to doubt my ability to study at London Metropolitan University. The university made it easy for international students to become acclimatised to the language. The lecturers are helpful, patient and also publish detailed notes of the lectures the website, so if you do miss something, you can always look it up later. You can follow along with the lecture by getting the notes from the universities own phone app; ‘blackboard’.
Some of my friends didn’t go to study abroad because they were afraid they wouldn’t make any friends. They couldn’t have been more wrong! The university is so multicultural and there are all sorts of people, including some Lithuanian students like me and people from all cultures and backgrounds, people who have lived in England their whole life together with others from all over Europe and beyond. Everybody is so friendly and sociable.
Another thing that made an impact on me was the manageable workload. Personally I have one lecture and one seminar each day and we have reading weeks most months that really help. That left me enough time to work part-time or study more on my own without any difficulties. The reading weeks I mentioned were often timed to give us the opportunity to catch up with work or complete a coursework assignment we’d just been given.
The idea of seminars was completely new for me and they were easily the most helpful and enjoyable aspect of the curriculum. They gave me another chance to go through what I had just learned in the lecture and get my questions answered. In addition to this I had the opportunity to get involved, to practise my English skills, make new friends, engage in intellectual debates and bring in my own thoughts and opinions.
London Met wasn’t my first university after I finished school. I studied in a Lithuanian university and now have a chance to compare two universities in two different countries and tell you advantages of London Met.
Here is a summary of the benefits of London Metropolitan University, that my other university did not have:
- Affordable education
- Renovated buildings
- Helpful staff
- Professional lecturers
- Everyone is very polite and keen to help
- You can always e-mail your questions to lecturers or arrange a meeting
- Relaxed work load (to begin with)
- Loads of time for your personal life
- New libraries with huge amounts of books and a PC for everyone
It really was a risk to leave my home country, my local university and my life as I’d known it for 20 years to go to a completely different country and study in a foreign language. I was lucky enough to be accepted into London Met and from the first day they took me under their wing, integrating me Into the university, my chosen course (Law LLB) and the culture of students and staff that is the London Metropolitan community. If it weren’t for all the support and amazing facilities on offer at London Met, I do not believe I would have been able to cope with studying in England. As it stands I have finished my first year, my English has improved dramatically and I am confident that I will complete my degree and become a lawyer working in London, all thanks to London Met.
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