Q&A with LLB student Simone Oliver

“Friendly, welcoming, and exciting” describing Kent in three words!

What attracted you to studying at Kent?

I chose to study at Kent firstly because of its proximity to London, since this enabled me to have easier access to the city for tourist activities, concerts, and law firms for internships. Secondly, I chose to study at Kent because I was excited for the opportunity to experience a more laidback and relaxed lifestyle in a small town and to be able to be closer to nature and the countryside. Thirdly, I chose to study at Kent because of the proximity to the beaches like Margate, Folkestone, and Botany Bay because I was enticed by the chance to have beach days with my friends. Overall, I chose Kent because I knew it would enable me to experience a wide variety in lifestyles from city life to small town life to being by the seaside.

How is your course going?

It’s going rather well! I have just finished second year and I have secured two internships in London for law over summer. I also just finished my end-of-year exams and believe I will get good grades. I have enjoyed the variety of content I got to learn this year from Contract Law to European Union law to Medical Ethics Law and to Land Law. I am very eager for next year when I get to choose all my modules because it will allow me to fully pursue my interests.

How would you describe your lecturers? What do you think about the level of support in your studies?

My lecturers are overall very helpful. Some lecturers stand out more to me like my Land Law lecturer because he made the module more engaging by involving pop culture references to help us gain a stronger understanding of the property market and he was very approachable which made students feel comfortable asking questions in lectures.

Which modules have you enjoyed the most, and why?

The modules I have enjoyed the most are European Union Law and Land Law. European Union Law was enjoyable because the content was very prevalent with current occurrences within the news. Also, a lot of the content was impactful because laws regarding movement of workers and travelling around Europe are highly relevant to me because I enjoy travelling and I would like to work abroad in the future.

Similarly, Land Law was enjoyable because we focussed heavily on issues regarding when mortgagors fall into arrears, cannot pay for their mortgages and the consequences of that, and this was highly relatable because the cost-of-living crisis has been very high and concerning for us as students who want to enter the property market within the next few years.

How would you describe your fellow students?

I would describe my fellow law students as supportive and team-players. This is because whenever we have coursework, people are always eager in the group chats to offer help and share any issues they are facing. Additionally, during exam season, my fellow law students were helpful with making sure everyone in the group chats knew the rules about what to bring to the exam, the specific content we were being assessed on and reminding everyone not to stress. Before each of my exams, students put different prayers, manifestations, and words of wisdom into the group chats to motivate everyone which was really kind.

What are your subject facilities like?

My subject facilities are very modern and state of the art. For law, there is the massive Kent Law Clinic where students can go and volunteer to help solicitors in Kent with their cases in their third year. There is also a grand moot court which enables students who want to be barristers to practice advocating for clients and role-playing as the prosecution or the defence. It’s a great way to strengthen oral communication skills, develop confidence and practice commanding a room.

What kind of career do you hope to follow when you leave, and why?

I want to be a solicitor at a US commercial law firm in London. This is because US firms offer a wider range of services for a more competitive salary than UK firms and they regularly do over 100,000 hours of pro-bono work which will allow me to aid people who really need help. In addition, I am eager for the chance to work with multi-jurisdictional, cross-border cases for high-profile clients. Lastly, I am excited by the opportunity for an international secondment and potentially the chance to move abroad and practice law in another country.

What about the social life? Are you part of any societies?

The social life is bustling on campus. The easiest way to meet people and make friends is through the students’ union, Kent Union, at their nightclub, Venue, the student societies or currently their Give It A Go scheme, this year I’ve been to Harry Potter World, Go Ape in Leeds Castle, and a trip to Howletts Wild Animal Park.

Another way to form strong friendships is through regularly going to the gym or library. Both are very friendly environments where you can meet dedicated, likeminded people and share interests. Additionally, you can build a large social life through meeting people in town because there are always students in the parks.

There are over 300 societies on campus and always new ones being made, with a society for everyone – sports, faith, culture, academics, or niche interests. I spent second year in Kent Crystals Cheer society, and I made lots of new friends as there were nearly 150 people involved! Societies organise lots of social events to help break the ice including with other societies enabling us to make more friends!

Once you form your friend group on campus, there are many places to hang out together. One of my favourites is the Origins Bar in Darwin because it’s cosy and they have big screens for sporting events which makes occasions like the football World Cup and boxing events really fun to watch with friends.

What are your favourite places on campus?

One of my favourite places is Mungo’s because it’s themed like an American diner, they play pop music and I love the different American foods they serve like extravagant milkshakes, chicken and waffles and Korean BBQ chicken wings. Another of my favourites is the Sports Pavilion overlooking the sports fields because you can watch and cheer for the university teams and meet new people. Then there is K-Bar, it’s like a lounge area and you can watch big sports events and feel like you are at home. Woody’s is great too, they have live karaoke, trivia nights, quizzes, and themed nights to express niche interests. Lastly, the gym because I like all the high-tech equipment and special mat rooms for different sports, the staff are friendly, and the students are very respectful.

Any advice to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?

It’ll likely be a massive culture shock if you come from a city like London (like I experienced) because you must pay for train tickets instead of Apple Pay, buses come every 30 minutes instead of every 5 minutes, it’s a lot more laid-back than the hustle and bustle of London, People are very friendly and will come up to talk to you which can again be a new experience for people from big cities like London where strangers don’t usually interact. Overall, I would say embrace the changes and make the most of your time here though joining societies, going to “Give It A Go” events and visiting the gym and library.

Describe Kent in three words!

Friendly, welcoming, and exciting.

The City

Where are your top three places to visit in Canterbury? Where would you recommend for a day out?

The top three places in Canterbury are: Curzon Riverside cinema, the Cathedral, and punting boats in town. For a day out, I recommend going to the cinema then going to the punting boats to ride one and then have a picnic on the grass or in the park. Then you can end the day by eating at one of the restaurants in town and drinking a bubble tea.