My experience: Sri Lankan studying Law at Durham University

When I decide that I wanted to study in the UK, little did I realise that I would be selected by the third oldest university in England. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the University, but I’ve had a great experience and it’s only been four months since I started!

During freshers’ week, I participated in Matriculation ceremonies at Durham Cathedral. Matriculation ceremonies are held annually to welcome new students to Durham University.  Matriculation is the term used to describe students’ formal entry into the University.

Durham Cathedral is the greatest Norman building in England, perhaps even in Europe. It is cherished not only for its architecture but also for its incomparable setting. The service was so beautiful and solemn. And the speech given by the Chancellor undeniably made an impact on all of us freshers. At that very moment I knew that choosing Durham was the best decision I’ve ever made in the 19 years of my life. I was very proud to note that the University also manage the World Heritage Site in partnership with Durham Cathedral. This includes Durham Castle (which is a residence for students who are members of University College) – A chance to live in a castle!

The active and lively Durham University Law Society, arranges guest speakers, inter-university mooting as well as a range of social activities where staff and students can mix, including an annual Christmas party, a mid-year dinner and a champagne lunch to celebrate the end of exams. I had the privilege of listening to Lord Hope, the Vice-President of the Supreme Court, who explained the structure of the Supreme Court in the UK. His questions and answers session gave me valuable insight into the workings of the highest binding court in the United Kingdom.

I will also have an opportunity to assist in the production of Inter Alia, a law journal edited and published by the students in the Law Faculty. It has an impressive record of securing contributions from eminent lawyers, scholars and politicians and provides an opportunity to publish students’ own contributions.
Durham Law School is an exciting and rewarding place in which to study. Students are taught by scholars from not only the UK, but all over the world. The staff at Durham are second to none. Not only do you have the people who write the textbooks on the area of law taking the lectures, but the smaller tutorial classes really give an opportunity to have a discussion or raise any concerns you may have. For instance Dr. Christian Witting, who took our Tort lectures for the Michaelmas term received an ovation at the end of his lecture series because of his inspirational approach to teaching us the mysteries of tort law as well as for the simplification of complex legal theories thereby making us first years, fresh out of secondary school, not only understand such theories but also instilling in us a thirst to know more about them.

In Durham City there is a quaint little market square dating back to the early AD995. The architecture of that era still survives and houses most of the shops in the town. At the end of hectic days, there’s nothing more wonderful than sitting in the market square with a coffee in hand, observing the hustle and bustle at farmers’ market  with the sounds of bagpipe or traditional northern music. Whilst Durham City may be small, I was surprised to note that it has almost anything you would need. And if all else fails, the biggest city in the north of England, Newcastle, is just a bus ride away!

Durham University, like the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, follows a collegiate system. Durham has 16 colleges and each student upon enrollment is automatically allocated to one of them. Durham’s Colleges provide a residential and social hub for students offering opportunities for personal development which complement the teaching and research carried out in the academic departments. I’m a proud member of Trevelyan College, lovingly known as ‘Trevs’. Not only is it noted for its musical talent but is also most definitely the friendliest college of them all!

Studying at Durham University has undoubtedly made an immense impact on my life. I encourage you to contact the University’s trusted local partner, Mr Sri Kandasamy, Country Director, VIEC Study Abroad – or 075 55 98 620 (mobile). 

Mr Kandasamy was formerly Education Services Manager at the British Council in Sri Lanka (& Maldives) and has excellent knowledge of the UK education system. He will be able to provide you with first class support as you make your preparations for study overseas which includes your visa application.

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