Law students at Kent have taken advantage of global online opportunities to gain international experience during 2020/21.
An increased variety of innovative, virtual opportunities has enabled students to reap the benefits of study abroad, despite pandemic travel restrictions.
These opportunities to study, build networks and develop skills have been generated for law students thanks to the work of the University of Kent’s International Partnerships team – and especially thanks to connections fostered by International Partnerships Officer Emma Marku.
Over the last academic year, opportunities embraced by law students at Kent have included:
- Global Community Challenge at the University of Calgary in Canada: an eight-week project enabling students to work in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary teams to identify potential solutions for local organisations in the Calgary community that have an impact globally. The challenge also included a series of professional development workshops.
- Soliya Connect Program: An online cross-cultural experience that provides a deeper understanding of the perspectives of others on important socio-political issues and crucial 21st Century skills, including critical thinking, communication, and digital media literacy.
- Studying modules at Hong Kong Baptist University: Students are able to take a module online (taught in English) in addition to their main studies at Kent. Alongside the classes, students’ virtual study experiences are enhanced through virtual student-led activities such as buddy schemes, cultural immersion activities and talks. Undertaken by final year law students, including Brittany Cousins – you can read more about Brittany’s experience on our news blog
- Studying modules at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan: Kansai Gaidai isn’t usually an option for law students. However, Kansai Gaidai’s offer for Kent students to take up to two classes online was extended to all in 2020/21. For a nominal fee of US$100, students were invited to study a course in Japanese language plus one choice from 20 courses, taught in English, relating to Asian cultures. Students who took advantage of this opportunity included European Legal Studies LLB student Bea Manlapaz (read more about Bea’s experience on our news blog) and Anne-Elise Efejuku, who has just completed her second year of a Law with a Year in Languages LLB. Anne-Elise, who studied a module in Global Business Teams in Japan, said: ‘I gained various skills and was able to push myself when it came to communicating with people who spoke numerous languages. It was an exciting experience and one I hope many others try to get involved in.’
Law Lecturer Laura Charleton, who is Director of Undergraduate Programmes and Internationalisation at Kent Law School, echoed Anne-Elise’s sentiments. She said: ‘Virtual international study opportunities have been shown to augment student study experiences, and complement physical mobility opportunities. It is so pleasing to hear about the fantastic achievements and brilliant memories of students who took on the challenge of extra studies with international partners this academic year. I look forward to facilitating similar opportunities in the future.’
The University is committed to driving forward the development of global partnership activity and opportunities for law students will continue. During the coming vacation, two first year law students from Kent will be participating in a virtual Summer School at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, one of the Law School’s international partners. And a new virtual exchange for law students is also due to begin soon at the University of Bordeaux in France.