Choosing the University of Essex for my undergraduate law studies was undoubtedly a wise decision. I was warmly welcomed by the members of the Essex team prior to my official enrolment. Subsequently, I quickly adapted to the new environment after several events and parties during the Welcome Week. For an international student like me, the differences between Eastern and Western cultures and environments were unquestionably the biggest anxiety when I first arrived in Essex, however, the warm welcome from Essex successfully removed my first layer of defense.
I was attracted to Essex Law Clinic and their work-based learning modules which act as platforms for students to analyse the law, and assist the team to provide free initial legal advice to the public. Through the work-based learning module, I managed to gain some work experience in a local council such as assisting caseworkers in dealing with victims involving all types of unlawful discrimination. This placement opportunity has strengthened my oral and written communication skills and while paying attention to clients’ needs, my interpersonal sensitivity also improved.
Throughout my time in Essex, the Student Union has taken great care to organise every festival so that everyone could have opportunities to interact with each other, and none of us would ever feel left out. I really appreciated their efforts as these activities somehow healed my homesickness. I met people from all over the world, and I truly felt that I was not just a student, but also a member of Essex. Even today, even a few years after I graduated, I still have the same feeling toward Essex, which makes Essex even special to me.
Living in a diverse community like Essex, I have strengthened my belief to respect everyone’s differences and accept their uniqueness. Law students are always required to possess critical thinking. However, given the warm environment in Essex, I was glad that I was able to strike a balance and not be overly judgmental. To me, I genuinely believe that Essex is not just a university where I did my undergraduate, but also a place for me to grow into an independent but approachable person.