My name is Rustam and I’m from Azerbaijan. I recently graduated from the University of Westminster in London with a bachelor’s degree in Law, and I am now studying a master’s degree in Sweden.
I worked hard to earn my undergraduate degree and I feel so happy to have finally graduated, and to have made my parents proud. Here’s how I followed my path, my way.
Why I chose to study abroad in the UK
My study abroad journey began in 2015 at Kaplan International College (KIC) London. That’s when I moved to the UK and started my pathway course.
I hoped that studying a Foundation Certificate would help me gain entry to the degree I wanted to study at the University of Westminster, and it did!
One of the very first reasons why I decided to study in the UK was because British educational institutions have a rich history and tradition of providing a world-class education.
I also wanted to experience the UK’s multicultural atmosphere. I knew that British universities are very diverse with students and staff from around the world, so I’d be able to meet people from lots of different backgrounds.
Finally, UK universities have great business connections that can help you grow your professional network, and improve your career prospects. I knew that these connections would mean that I would have access to opportunities that might not be available elsewhere.
Hard work and determination
My biggest concern when I arrived in the UK was about my academic English because it wasn’t at a high enough level. I only had 4 months to pass an IELTS test before I could start a Foundation Certificate at KIC London, and time was running out.
Thankfully, with hard work and determination, I managed to pass my IELTS test with a good score, and start the next chapter of my life at KIC London.
On my pathway course, I learnt about political science, sociology and history, as well as general legal practices in the UK and the European Union. All of this gave me a broad knowledge base that I went on to expand during my degree at Westminster.
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During my final year at Westminster, I volunteered as President of the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) and at Citizens Advice. Through these extra-curricular roles, I could give back to the communities I was a part of.
At Citizens Advice, I provided free advice to people who needed to know more about their rights. And as President of ELSA, I led the overall co-ordination of the association’s work, expansion and external relations. These were fantastic experiences that allowed me to gain new skills and grow my network.
I am extremely grateful to both KIC London and the University of Westminster for helping me develop a broad range of transferable skills.
As well as learning specific legal skills such as mooting and negotiation, I’ve improved my analytical skills, and I’ve learned how to work in a team, communicate effectively, and carry out research.
Studying abroad helped me gain a thorough understanding of the UK legal system. Not only this, it allowed me to experience an entirely different culture, learn a new language, expand my horizons and, most importantly, it broadened my professional network.
Here’s my advice to international students: never stop working hard for your goals, and don’t set a limit on what you can become. You should also never be afraid of failing. With anything you do, failure is essential to success. The teachers of the East say that “every arrow that hits the bull’s-eye is the result of 100 misses”.