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Our Pre-sessional course, credit to Olga Soroka

Our New Life in Reading

After their Bachelor’s degree in law, most students decide to continue their studies by doing an LLM programme and often their greatest wish is to do this in an overseas university.  

We are such students having recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Universities in Turkey and Russia. We could have stayed and worked as legal interns or junior associates in our own countries. However we wanted to study law at a deeper level and at the same time gain experience and life skills living in another country, which is why we decided to study law overseas.

Olga and Deren outside of Foxhill House, credit to Deren Suzme

Olga and Deren outside of Foxhill House, credit to Deren Suzme

The most important question is: Why did we choose Reading? Well, we wanted to focus on international commercial law and looked at different law schools both in the UK and elsewhere but were surprised to find out that only a few universities offer this option. Then we found Reading. The international law course here suited us because it combines not only legal aspects but also economic issues of international commerce. It also offered the modules we wanted and had the added benefit of being near the capital as well.

We decided to do a pre-sessional English course in the University before our Masters as we wanted to improve our English and learn a little about the academic culture in UK universities.  This was a good decision. We completed our 11 week course finishing in December and have learned a lot about academic writing and reading. This was an invaluable experience because we will have to write different essays and course papers all the time as part of our Masters. We feel our English has also improved.  It’s only by being here using the language on a day to day basis and being involved with life can you really become fluent.

The academic culture here is quite different.  We’ve found while doing the pre-sessional for example that a lot of work is done in groups and there is a strong emphasis on reading and analyzing texts. We were used to exams as the only form of assessment but here we have been assessed based on our coursework also. It can be a bit tedious but it pushes you to work harder we think it helps to prepare for the future work life.

In Turkey and Russia many students tend to live with their parents. Having spent all your life living with your family under one roof makes you quite worried about how you will open a new page in your life living alone in another country. It was a big and hard decision to study abroad. However, it has been two months since we arrived. Although it was tough in the beginning, we’re getting used to it and are really looking forward to our LLM and to our year in Reading.

About Olga Aristeidou


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