Belverlin Yanling Shen
I'm Singaporean Chinese and love to travel and embrace new experiences.
Why I Chose Law at Leeds
There are several reasons why I chose to study law in Leeds.
First of all, I like the fact that law is a multi-disciplinary subject. It allows me to explore and experience different aspects and issues of human and social life which I find very intriguing. Law is one of the few subjects that emphasises both the depth and breadth of topic. This allows me to challenge myself intellectually and creatively to study and solve problems.
The University of Leeds is part of the Russell Group and The School of Law has been one of the strongest law schools in the UK since its inception in 1899. I chose Leeds because it has a strong international student team and is ranked 1st among participating Russell Group universities for international student satisfaction. Moreover, it is a university that provides a supportive and well-structured learning environment for students to excel. There are always opportunities available within the Law School to be part of something bigger. This makes make university life more meaningful. For instance there are more than 40 law-related modules for students to study and specialise in. There are annual mooting, debating and negotiating competitions for students to apply their legal skills outside of academic work and the pro bono team is very active. Whether you like working with the public or simply investigating legal work, there is always something to be involved with.
What Makes Me Passionate About Law
Law is a very relatable subject. This is because it reflects how societies function in different cultural contexts. As society's morals, values and norms change, the law also changes with it. This is extremely fascinating to me because I come from a multi-racial society. Moreover, I enjoy the fact that statutes are created to protect people from being harmed by others. This spurs me to delve into the study of law because I can use my knowledge to potentially advise people and help them with their problems.
I enjoy going to lectures and seminars the most because the tutors are always so positive and helpful. They are well-prepared and the lessons are facilitated extremely well. Teaching staff are also available outside scheduled contact time for additional guidance and support. Their enthusiasm and passion for topics is so contagious that there is always something to look forward to.
Learning Facilities and School Support
The learning facilities are very comprehensive at Leeds. There are a number of libraries which are equipped with textbooks and guidebooks and other reading materials to assist our learning. Moreover, there are many quiet study areas in the law school and Student Union to facilitate study group sessions. The computer clusters that are open 24/7 that are available for students to use should they need the support of IT materials to study.
The student support team is very helpful and proactive. They go the extra mile to ensure that students are adapting and coping well in the school. I remember having some problems viewing my timetable in Semester 1 which affected my studies. However, upon informing the student support team, the problem was solved immediately. The team wasted no time to feedback my problem to the IT department and I was very impressed by their efficiency.
Outside of Studying
There are more than 250 clubs and societies that are available to students. I am part of the Film Society and Singaporean Society. The Film Society often organizes pizza and movie nights which are a great way to relax and mingle with international and local students. The Singaporean Society is a cultural society that organises events to help fellow Singaporeans to assimilate in Leeds and for non-Singaporeans to develop their knowledge of the Singaporean culture. If you are looking for events and sessions to make new friends, travel around the UK or get a taste of what different societies do, you should definitely participate in the Give-It-A-Go programmes. I love the trips because it is inexpensive and extremely well-organised. There are also many volunteering activities, social events and competitions that are organised by the School of Law. I am part of the University of Leeds Innocence Project. It is a voluntary project that aims to exonerate people who were wrongfully convicted in the UK.
Life in Leeds
Leeds is definitely a very tight-knit community. The people here are friendly and jovial. It is easy to integrate and immerse yourself in the Leeds culture. It is a very vibrant and exciting city. It is home to mega shopping centres, one of Europe's largest indoor markets, live concerts, performances and museums. There is always something to do or visit in Leeds. The location is also fabulous. It is a few hours from bustling London and a 20-30 minute train journey from rustic Harrogate, York and Ilkley. All in all, Leeds is a great student city.
My Advice to Prospective Students
Do not hesitate to apply. If you are looking for a great academic programme and a great social life, the University of Leeds Law School is the one for you. If you are an international student, do not be afraid to enrol here. International students get a lot of support from the school and fellow students. I spent no time assimilating into the culture and in retrospect, that was also possible because of the strong international network and support structure here at Leeds.
My Future Plans
I intend to go into teaching and be part of the education sector someday. I hope to contribute and make an impact on young people's lives and shape the future.