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My Experience: Moving Abroad For Law School

Updated: Mar 17

Are you currently an international student studying at Taylor's Law School? Do you find yourself occasionally feeling homesick or lost? 

Don’t worry, because you are not alone. Join me, Suhana, a third-year law student, as I guide you through my own challenging experiences as an international student and share how I coped with them.

In the pivotal year of 2019, my life took an unexpected turn, propelling me towards a significant decision as I embarked on the journey of pursuing a law degree in Malaysia at Taylor’s University! Why did I choose Taylor’s? The moment I discovered they had a well-rounded law program, it sparked my interest with hopes that the university would shape me academically and professionally. Moreover, the law program was a dual degree, allowing me to practice in Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Therefore, the prospect of earning a flexible degree was particularly appealing, aligning perfectly with my aspirations to practice law in the United Kingdom. With that side, I also had insightful conversations with their counselors which solidified my decision to study law at Taylor’s. 

I was ecstatic when I received my offer letter from Taylor's Law School, a document that marked the beginning of a new chapter. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused me to face academic setbacks, travel restrictions, and rather troublesome procedures I had to adhere to. Despite these challenges, I still managed to make my way to Malaysia, where I spent my first few years taking my degree virtually through a black screen.

Not going to lie, studying law in Malaysia during the pandemic was undoubtedly arduous, but I wasn’t going to let this discourage me. So, I decided to persevere and hope for the best! 

So, what were some of the challenges I faced as an international student? 

Firstly, I encountered many difficulties in adjusting to online learning. 

Attending my lectures and tutorials virtually was a learning curve for us all. It introduced me to the complexities of legal terms and problem-solving. I am thankful for all the unwavering support of Taylor's lecturers who played a pivotal role in helping me navigate my challenges academically. Moreover, I am grateful for the relationships I formed with my fellow coursemates through collaborative group assignments! While the online learning experience had its share of difficulties, it also provided me with the opportunity to develop self-discipline, time management, and effective communication skills.

Secondly, I experienced feelings of homesickness, yearning for the comforts of home. 

The moment we were allowed back on campus for physical classes, I was beyond excited! I love the campus, for its enchanting beauty, accompanied by a lake, ducks, and lush greenery. Furthermore, several other activities take place such as cheerleading rehearsals, drama school rehearsals, clubs and societies meetings, etc. 

Despite all these fun activities, I still find studying in a foreign country without the presence of family emotionally challenging. Homesickness occasionally tugged at my heartstrings, but my unwavering passion to meet my goals to do well academically fueled my determination to keep going. I am grateful that the university was committed to the well-being of its international students through cultural integration programs, and counseling services too.

Thirdly, it was not easy to secure a legal internship in Malaysia as an international student. 

At Taylor’s Law School, we have a compulsory internship module that every student has to go through. Despite countless rejections, I managed to secure an internship at a law firm here! It was an enriching internship because it added a practical dimension to my academic pursuits, offering valuable insights into the workings of the legal world. The skills and understanding acquired during my studies were put to the test in a professional setting, where I was able to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Lastly, I found myself not having any close friends within the campus when I first joined. 

In the beginning, I faced some issues making new friends, as I did not know anybody in this foreign country. However, through various clubs and activities provided at Taylor’s. Thankfully, I was able to meet new people who had become my great friends. As an international student, this university felt like a home away from home. The warmth and hospitality extended by the university community, coupled with a diverse array of clubs and societies, provided a vibrant social hub. Better still, I joined clubs and societies and it allowed me to not only broaden my social circle but also to participate in extracurricular activities that enriched my university experience, fostering a holistic development that transcended the confines of the classroom.

In just a blink of an eye, I am now in my final year at Taylor’s Law School. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to apply for postgraduate studies in Law in the United Kingdom. Reflecting on my journey in Taylor’s, I believe all the challenges, triumphs, and unwavering support are invaluable assets to shape me into the next phase of my academic and professional pursuits. I definitely felt that the university’s multidimensional approach to learning, enchanting campus environment, supportive community, and diverse opportunities such as a dual-degree program will  collectively shape me to become an all-rounded law graduate in the future.

Written by: Suhana Kabeer Edited by: Michelle Lee Shu Ling

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