Studying law in the UK was an attractive option to me for a number of reasons. Now, after completing 1 year of my studies I can better discuss the advantages of choosing to study abroad. Firstly, the UK has many world-renowned universities, and this coincides with the level of education they wish to deliver. Being one of the oldest legal systems which has influenced many others around the world only increases the value of such an education from the UK. Secondly, a degree from the UK offers dual qualifications for both the UK Bar and Canadian Bar, giving you additional flexibility in your career options and the ability to practice law in both countries. Thirdly, the cultural experience of studying abroad is an opportunity to experience a new culture, make friends from around the world, and gain valuable life experiences that can shape your personal and professional growth.
I chose the University of Sussex for its location and reputation. Sussex is located just north of Brighton, a city located about an hour's train ride from London and only a half hour from Gatwick International Airport. Being in a fully developed city was also important to me as all potentially necessary services such as dry cleaners, grocery stores, general stores and public transportation will be easily accessible. This is indeed the case with Brighton, with a 24-hour bus system and active train system.
The city of Brighton offers a strong quality of life with many restaurants, grocers etc. The living accommodations on campus can vary. Some of the student residences are very old (specifically Lewes Court). I would recommend when requesting on-campus accommodations to ensure you have an ensuite bathroom. This would include the East Slope and Swanborough Residences. I lived in Swanborough, and while the rooms were not exceptionally clean on arrival, it was manageable and provided a reasonable quality of life.
Studying law in the UK exposes you to an international legal system and diverse perspectives. This can be particularly advantageous in today's interconnected world where cross-border legal issues are increasingly common. In addition, being close to Europe provides one with unique travel opportunities that may not be available to those studying in North America. A new perspective can change everything when moving abroad to study, I found this change in outlook essential to my academic success.
Brighton is a fun city due to its vibrant and diverse cultural scene, lively nightlife, and iconic beachfront attractions, including the famous Brighton Pier. It offers a unique blend of trendy cafes, boutique shops, and a welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking entertainment and excitement.
Across the Pond is an exceptional service available to Canadians who wish to study in the UK at no expense. They are extremely helpful and understanding of each student's needs (special thank you to my advisor for her fantastic help on my applications). They assist with your application at every step and offer experienced advice. They are not pushy and understand that applicants wish to work on their own timeline. I cannot recommend Across the Pond enough to those considering studying abroad.
I am studying in the UK for the first time for law school. I love learning and experiencing new things as a student and person. As a first-year law student, I have learned a lot about myself and my personal development.
The atmosphere of the university campus is a new experience for me, however; it is one that is helping me as an individual to understand how to grow as a new adult.
Studying in the UK has allowed me many opportunities, including travel, and meeting new people that forced me to look at things from a new perspective and through a new lens. Living only a short train ride away from Brighton has given me the freedom to experience the city as much as I want, but still have the choice to stay on campus if I want. That choice has allowed me to spend as much or as little time in Brighton as I want.
The university has been able to help me as a new international student and not be as worried about the new experience that I have this year. Many contacts have aided my knowledge of how to best my experience, and if I have any questions, I don’t feel alone in this experience.
Choosing to study abroad, and specifically study in the UK has opened up my perspective for the future, and the opportunities I have going forward.
Studying in the UK has an extreme amount of benefits. Don’t get me a long it is extremely difficult and does have a lot of negatives, but it is important to know the positives! First, if you have your bachelor’s degree already than you only have to go to school for two more years, who doesn’t want to go to school less? Also, you don’t have to use your time, effort and money to take the LSAT. That leaves you with more time to use your passion to start your legal career!
I chose the University of Sussex because I was in love with the location, it is close to major airports, city life, and a short train ride from London! In addition, it is one of the top Law Schools in the UK and it has nationally recognized competitions you can take part of. The campus is beautiful, but you have to be ready for a LOT of walking.
My accommodation is insanely awful. As a University you would think they would room students around the same age, program of study and cultural background. This is NOT the case. As a student from Canada, it is extremely overwhelming to jump int the British culture of drinking and going out every single day. Also, the Univeristy housed me, a young Canadian student in the Law School with individuals all younger than me, who are all a different background than me and who are all in a different program. When you are asked on your form, make sure you make this clear because apparently I did not!
Be ready for the party life that the UK loves! I was under the impression that people study hard and only party on the weekends. It is a HUGE culture shock when this is not the case. Make sure you find a good support group who don’ just like to party and like to go exploring and are motivated to work hard, thankfully I did! I so wish the University helped with this and made it more comfortable for Canadian students.
I am in my first year of Graduate Entry Law program and I have one more year left of my two year program! I have always wanted to study law ever since I was very little because all I want to do is help people.
The University of Sussex is located near the two of Brighton which is so cute and fun! Brighton has so many cute coffee shops, things to do, a famous pier and an awesome night life!
I my spare time I study a lot! I also like to go for dinner and coffee dates and escae rooms! I am so lucky I found friends who don’t just like to party. The friends I made are mostly Canadian because I feel like the other UK students are very cliquey and don’t like Canadian students. This is fine because there are a lot of Canadian students to be friends with.
University in the UK
University in the UK is amazing as it grows your independency and appreciation for culture. It is incredible that it is so easy to travel anywhere within Europe for so cheap! It does get extremely lonely and it Is so hard to be away from your support system and home, but it is so rewarding to finally make your dreams a reality and discover who you really are as a person.
When the world shut down in March 2020, I was disappointed with myself for taking life for granted and promised myself I would never do that again. Within the year, I had to make the decision to either move to England for law school at the University of Sussex or stay in a comfortable environment in Canada. I reflected on that feeling of lockdown, the feeling of wanting more out of life, so needless to say, I took the chance and moved abroad. Turns out, it was the best decision I could have made for myself.
When moving to the UK, I was naive about what moving to a new country was going to entail. From figuring out a new healthcare system, and setting up a bank account, to grocery shopping, there are a lot of logistics to figure out. With all the hardships that come along with moving to a foreign country, comes a lot of triumphs. After making one move, it feels like the entire world has expanded and the possibilities are truly endless.
Small actions make the biggest difference when arriving in a new country, such as the University of Sussex setting up an office where students can go pick up their visa cards on campus. Not only is it a beautiful campus surrounded by national parks, but it also has a sense of community and comradery between students and professors. If you are ever lost on campus, you can stop anyone walking through and they will happily guide you in the right direction.
The law school at Sussex has an incredible community, with so many resources available for students. The professors genuinely care about the students and their passion for teaching is clear. The law school at Sussex offers incredible opportunities from mooting and client interviewing competitions to practical legal clinic work, students have the chance to build their skills outside of the classroom.
Brighton beach has allowed for beautiful summer days and winter walks on the pier. There is always a new café to try and delicious food to be had, the options are overwhelming. Students who attend the University of Sussex tend to live close to each other when living off campus, which allows for close connections to your friends. You get to run into familiar faces at the grocery store and when taking the bus to campus, which are the little things that make living abroad feel like home. The public transportation in Brighton is exceptional and allows every location to be accessible by bus. From central Brighton to the University of Sussex, it is a 15-minute bus ride, with buses coming every 7 minutes.
Advice I would give to potential students is to look up the nearest airport and knowing how to get from the airport to your relevant living area. London Gatwick is a quick 30-minute train ride away from Brighton, with trains scheduled every 20 minutes.
With Tik Tok, it is easy to glamorize and romanticize moving abroad, and while there are amazing moments, there comes a side that the internet does not show. The moment after the goodbyes are completed to loved ones and you have the moment of what do I do now, appreciate the butterflies and make the step outside of your comfort zone and reach out to other students. Or when you are craving a piece of comfort, but the restaurants that you have back in your home country taste just a little different in the UK, you will find your new favourite UK restaurant, and that becomes your comfortable meal now. When you are on public transport, trying to get to a new place for the first time, you put on your favourite album, just for that piece of mind.
What I am trying to get at is there will be moments that you are uncomfortable, but you will find what works for you to get through those moments. You will look back at those moments and reflect on how you overcame and grew from them. For inspiration, I suggest listening to your own your own, kid by Taylor Swift, Tik Tok has named it the song for international students living abroad!
To anyone considering moving to the UK for school, the personal growth that you will see in yourself will give you the courage to do anything you want in the future. Not everyone can pack up their life and move for school, there will be challenges that come your way, but it will all be worth it. I have completed my second year abroad, and I cannot fathom how quickly time has gone by. I look at the UK has my home now, and I choose to spend my time outside of term dates still in the UK. When you go abroad, appreciate the nerves, and enjoy the moments of the unknown, these are going to be the moments you remember forever and will be proud of overcoming.