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Emina Zahirovic. LLM in International Law at the University of Westminster

Posted on: 3 October 2017
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Filed under: Alumni - LLM in International Law, Law

Emina Zahirovic completed her LLM in International Law at the University of Westminster, and  joined international legal firm BDK Advokati/Attorneys at Law at its Banja Luka office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Emina got a scholarship to Westminster, graduating in November 2013.  She looks back to her time living and studying with other students which she remembers as one of the best experiences of her life. 

When I was looking for a masters course I was looking for specific modules that I wanted to study – international human rights law, and humanitarian law – and when I was comparing universities in London, Westminster was the only one which offered both of these modules on the one course, so it was the best option for me.

I looked at the ratings, the teaching profiles, the facilities and all the other things that Westminster offered, and it all looked good, but it was the course content which was the most important for me; I didn’t want to settle for something else, I really wanted to study those modules.

It was my first time studying in the UK, and both the location and the University really lived up to my expectations. Because the University is based in central London it’s easy to get to know the city. And everyone is really helpful at Westminster – starting from the School registry to the professors and the staff, everyone is there to help you out. We were all international students, and we were struggling a little bit with our English at the beginning, but everyone helped us out.

The way we were taught, and the way we were able to study, was one of the highlights of the course for me. Here in Bosnia the focus is much more on memorising facts and the classical exam styles; at Westminster it was much more about research and original coursework. It definitely taught me how to think, rather than what to think. The people on the course also helped to make it an amazing experience.

I learned so much, and I loved being at Westminster; I had really wanted to study in London for years, so this was a dream come true for me.

The position I’ve taken up now with BDK has more of a focus on corporate and commercial law, which is not quite the area that I was studying for. I thought it might be a problem for me to find a job in a branch of law outside of human rights or humanitarian law, but in the end, studying at the University of Westminster really went in my favour when it came to applying for the post.

I would definitely advise anyone thinking of studying law at Westminster to go for it – the facilities, the libraries and the access to things are amazing. Perhaps the best advice for international students would be to do the short course before you start your LLM, just to get used to the way you need to write, the form, and the legal English you need to know. I think that’s the one thing that could have made a big difference – if I had done the introductory course, I think I would have got even more out of my LLM.

And if you want to make the most of the social life, then live in halls of residence – that was also one of the best experiences of my life. I lived in Wigram House; I made so many friends, it was so easy to get adjusted to London, to overcome that culture shock, and you never feel lonely… it makes me want to go back to London right now!

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