This guest post is written by Hamza Khaleel, who graduated with an LLB in 2016.
It was November 2011. I had been married for one year and my wife had an offer to study a Masters at the University of Malaya in Malaysia while I had discovered the University of London LLB programme that would give me the academic knowledge and edge to work in the social, justice and human rights fields of the Maldives. I was desperate to find the means to support the both of us to study abroad as there were no proper university degree programmes in the tiny island nation of the Maldives. We got our savings together and decided to take the risk of having merely enough funds for one year for the both of us. Our plan was for us to work while studying as much as we could.
So that’s it. All done. A BSc in Politics and International Relations. When I saw my exam results this week my reactions were relief (because I felt a bit glass-half-empty after the exams in May), joy (at getting three results over 70%) and pride at the overall First Class Honours degree I was awarded.
I won’t use the cliche “journey” but lots of aspects of my life have changed since I started the degree. Unlike full-time students that get sucked into the bell-jar of academia and pupate into “real world” graduates four years later, those of us studying through the University of London International Programmes have to blend studies with our daily realities. My academic studies – like many other distance learning students – was squeezed around the changing fortunes of one-and-a-half jobs, family commitments and curveballs like house moves.
So my results for my third year are out. As usual, they aren’t to my expectations. Actually, they were never to my expectations. This only goes to show that University of London is very unpredictable. Either that, or my expectations for my own results just generally suck. Haha. Anyhow, good thing is I passed every single subject.
This means that I graduated from University of London International Programmes with a Second Class Uppers.
The fact that I graduated means a lot of me. It means that I have finished a hard race. Reached the finish line. It means that I survived and thrived in this course. Yes, I did it. I actually did it. We did it. We graduated! Our hard work paid off. A job well done!
It is coming to end of my first year since enrolling into the MA programme in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies. My interest in refugee issues took off when I was interning with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had the opportunity to work closely with refugees, and the experience led me into a world I had never imagined – an unfamiliar world where children have no access to education in public schools; where children and their families are subject to arrest and detention; and where healthcare is expensive and unaffordable with the situation made worse by the fact that refugees and asylum seeking people have no legal rights to work in Malaysia.
As the word count counter on the bottom left of the laptop screen hit 5000+, I found myself exhaling in relief. Countless hours, days, weeks spent in deciding on a topic, developing a proposal, planning research, and many bouts of stress later, I was finally ready to hand in the final draft of the end of the module assignment.
As a distance learning student of the MA in Education program, I am in my second term and upon successful completion I would officially be halfway through the program not counting the dissertation. As I think back to my first blog, outlining the start of my journey as a distance learner, I couldn’t help but wonder at how much I had learned, not just academically, in just a few short months.
Anytime you come home from a holiday and have to immediately use the words plumber and electrician you might feel like closing the door and heading straight back to your summer idyll. Long story, but it comes down to having no light in my office and no functioning sink in the kitchen. I knew when we returned that things were going to get a bit hectic but did not expect the need to wedge home repairs in to my schedule.
My professional office is based at home, thankfully. It gives me a great deal more flexibility that would be difficult to do without, even if I have no lighting and only limited espresso at the moment. And I did a lot of reading and studying along with my ordinary work while enjoying a change of scene. Still, the phrase Exam Registration Will Open On August 25… is right up there with requiring a plumber and an electrician upon opening the door after a few weeks away. That sinking feeling in the stomach is exactly the same. Repairs are underway as I debate the merits of registering for exams in October or waiting until May to sit my first paper.
This post is written by Hannah, Deputy Chair of the Student Voice Group
Hannah enjoying a well-earned post-exam break at the Glastonbury Festival
Having just completed my LLB with the University of London International Programmes, I am grateful to be climbing out from the depths of exam stress and seemingly endless hours of study. As fellow students, I’m sure all readers are well aware that the rigorous programmes of the University of London can be arduous and that the intense study they require can at exam times can be quite isolating.
However, my experience and journey through the LLB has been brightened and coloured by engagement with other students as well as academics and staff from across the International Programmes through serving as a student member of a committee. These support networks have been key for me and have helped me during difficult times to remember the positive aspects of study which, outside of exam season, is surprisingly a very rewarding and enjoyable pursuit! Continue reading
Cape Cod is such a lovely place. It has been some time since we visited the area and I forgot how beautiful the seashore is here. Several years ago I lived in northern New England and once again, I forgot how much we enjoyed it. I could very easily live here some day. But, on this trip it feels wonderful to visit our old, favorite places and connect with friends. It is also quite nice to pack a picnic basket, pitch an umbrella on the sand, and enjoy a good beach read while sunning myself lobster red. What does all this have to do with studying Postgraduate Laws? Let me share…
It is that time of the year when we are all busy in our own ways; vacationing in Thailand, going on a shopping spree in Dubai, building the CV by interning at a local or international firm, finishing off those series you did not get to watch all year (although it cannot be the famous ‘Game of Thrones’ because who does not get time to watch that one even if there is an exam the next day, right?), or just lazing around at home. That being said, if you have graduated or are going to graduate next year and are planning on pursuing a Master’s degree, now is the time to get to work.
I am sleep deprived and loving it, thanks to work, study and enjoying a wonderful Southwestern Pennsylvania summer. It is a bit of a hectic time right now. My professional projects are more demanding than usual, I am interviewing for a new position, and of course summer brings so many fun things to enjoy with friends and family. But I like structure, so I try to make sure that each day is organized to help me reach my goals in every area that is important to me: exercise and being out-of-doors, studying and my professional goals, along with family time, all need to be built into the day.