by Alecia Spence
Studying law in the UK has been a fascinating and rewarding experience; due to the course of development, the law has taken. From a Public Law point of view, the law or Acts of Parliament has taken a political position, as the UK is embarking on attempting to leave the European Union. Studying law in the UK has allowed me to experience history in the making, and observe as new laws and treaties come to pass. I enjoy going to my European Union Law lectures and seeing my Professors get excited about the latest development in Brexit (the UK’s attempt to leave the EU). It is a privilege to be in the UK and experience how this change may impact or affect the UK citizens and also the relationship the UK may have with the EU going forward.
Overall the first two months of living and studying law in the UK (Swansea, Wales) has been a learning curve, both socially and academically. The structure of the course and assessments are different, as the modules are graded by only one exam or an assignment that is weighted a hundred percent (100%). In general, there are eight core modules taught in every law degree — the first year focuses on four of the eight-core modules. The modules are separated into two semesters (part one and part two); for example, Contract Law 1 runs from October- December, then breaks for Christmas and exams commence in January. Contract Law 2 then runs from February-June with a month break between March and April.
Socially there are different customs in the UK I was unaware of before moving here. Prior to living in the UK it was uncommon to hear that Black History Month was celebrated in October. I have always grown up celebrating Black History in February, therefore celebrating in October was a culture shock. I assumed that globally, Black History Month was celebrated in February. However, my school did a great job of hosting many Black History month tributes and awareness around the school. They had flags from different countries representing black cultures and communities. I enjoyed attending the cultural ball where we all dressed up in our cultural garments and represented our different Carribean or African cultures. I learnt that the UK celebrates Black History Month in October because traditionally, African chiefs and leaders gathered in October to settle their differences. Another interesting fact is since the academic year begins in October, it would give black children (students) a sense of pride and identity.
Another social and cultural event that I experienced was Guy Fawkes Night. Guys Fawkes Night is celebrated annually on November 5th. Historically, in 1605 thirteen young men decided to blow up the House of Parliament, amongst them was Guy Fawkes, who was set to fire the barrels of gunpowder. However, King James was alerted about the plan and executed Guy Fawkes before he could blow up Parliament. Thereafter every November 5th, they celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. However, I am confused if the fireworks are celebretaing his execution or honouring his attempt to blow up Parliament. Never-the-less the fireworks on the beach were magical.
Overall, studying in the UK is very eye-opening. I enjoy that I am learning history has it unfolds, and I also enjoy learning older customs, traditions and history. I am fascinated every day by how different it is Across the Pond!
If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please contact one of our advisors.