At the University of Aberdeen, I attend a full-time LL.M. programme in Public International Law (postgraduate taught). To improve my language skills, it was essential for me to study in an English speaking country. The University of Aberdeen made this wish come true.
I decided to come here, due to the University’s excellent reputation in Law, and its historical and international flair. Furthermore, my degree enables me to extend my advanced knowledge I gained at the University of Cologne and the KU Leuven. Among others, I am taking courses in International Energy and Environmental Law and on the World Trade Organisation (Gatt). Finally, I will have to submit a 10.000-word long dissertation the topic of which everyone chooses on their own. Each student will be supported by a supervisor.
Studying in the UK is different from my previous experience. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are currently no on-campus exams taking place. In the first instance, students are obliged to write essays and case notes. This requires a lot of scientific research. For proper citations, everyone has to get familiar with OSCOLA – the ‘Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities’. I highly appreciated that students received support through the mandatory introduction course ‘Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship’. In this course, everyone learned how to use ‘Primo’ – the university library catalog – and how to use OSCOLA. Other sessions were on legal argument construction and critical legal analysis. All in all, the course provided a solid basis for completing my studies.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, not all of my classes take place online via Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft Teams. Every two weeks, I have two interactive seminars on campus. The University of Aberdeen implements excellent safety measures. This is reflected in the low rate of Covid-19 cases among the student population, which is made public every Friday on the University’s webpage. Hand sanitizers are available across the whole campus. Both in class and the library, every student is required to continuously wear a mask and to keep a distance from their fellow students. Nevertheless, a high standard of teaching is still ensured. The friendly LL.M. support team always helps out when students have questions or concerns.
To stay in touch virtually, every Friday at 5pm ‘keep connected sessions’ take place via Microsoft Teams. This way, students have the opportunity to get to know each other and to ask for advice if they have any issues. As a class representative for the postgraduate law students starting in September 2020, I am happy to be able to contribute to improving the student experience by receiving feedback from my fellow students and forwarding it onto the law school. Moreover, I appreciate the many co-curricular activities the University’s career service offers, such as the ‘Employability Boost Award’, the ‘Star Award’ or the ‘Leadership Academy’.
Given the pandemic, I had big concerns whether it was worthwhile coming to Aberdeen. Now, I am very happy that I took this decision. I am proud to be part of the student community of the University of Aberdeen.