Why did you choose to study in Scotland?
I chose to pursue postgraduate studies at my university because of its Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP). I came to the Centre in order to harmonize my undergraduate passions for the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Earth Sciences with my emerging interests in International Trade, Natural Resources, and Law.
What is the best thing about your course and why?
Before coming to Dundee, I studied Geography through the lens of Economics and International Development, specifically in the Middle East. The best thing about my LLM in International Business Law and Transactions course is that I have the flexibility to conduct and present my research in a manner which intertwines various academic fields, some of which I am confident in and others which I am recently familiarizing myself with at Dundee.
What has been your best learning experience to date and why?
My best learning experience to date has been my sincere understanding that economics, politics, international development, and the environmental cannot be approached and studied individually; rather, they are all interconnected and must be approached holistically. I discovered this when I began connecting the links of subject matters between different modules, despite being from all different academic departments.
What has been your best university experience to date and why?
The thriving community at Dundee is part of the reason I wanted to become more involved within the University leadership. Upon arrival in September 2010, I campaigned to become the University of Dundee's next International Student Learning and Teaching Representative within the University's Student Representative Council (SRC). Having only recently met a few students within the Centre, I reached out to the larger undergraduate and postgraduate community by campaigning around campus. Although I did not win the election I was not disheartened; rather, my confidence grew tremendously. I was fortunate to discover at an early stage of the University's openness to new student leadership. Additionally, the final vote breakdown was surprising in that I received more votes than people I knew in Dundee combined. It meant one thing: Dundonians were not afraid of unfamiliar faces; they appreciated my sincerity and were not apprehensive in supporting a newcomer's drive to becoming a leader in their community.
How did you find settling into life in Scotland?
Settling into Scotland was much easier than I expected. Dundonians make the move easier by consistently providing friendly advice and directions around the city. Moreover, Dundee is a pedestrian-friendly city and is very easy to get around; it's big enough to have everything you want and small enough to walk around the entire city center within an hour.
As an American from the warm and humid Southeastern region of the States, I was naturally unprepared for the infamous Scottish winter. Although Dundee has been named the sunniest city in Scotland, the winter can still be intimidating for people unfamiliar with cold weather. My advice for others is to (1) layer your clothing, (2) drink lots of hot tea and coffee, and (3) hang out in the library until the last possible minute before class. Don't worry, everyone else does it. When April comes and you've shoveled the last of snow from your front door, you can treat yourself to a beer and proclaim to the world that you've survived a Scottish winter!