Amil from Azerbaijan
How did you find out about Lund University and this programme?
"I first came across this specialisation on Coursera actually. I really loved everything about that course. When I was in the last year of my Bachelor's, I decided to specialise in business law fields. Lund was one of my first choices since, in addition to its high global ranking, I loved the programme structure. The programme provides both foundations of EU law (constitutional and internal market framework) and then you can specialise in different business law-related fields. My main goal is to specialise in competition law, and I think this is one of the few programmes that I found with that focus. We have competition law courses in the first year and for the second year, we will have State Aid and Mergers and Acquisitions courses. So, from a future career perspective, the programme is really good for my career needs."
What do you think about the teaching style?
"I think it's a very common thing here to do group work. For instance, we have some student debates that really help to exchange our arguments and knowledge with peers, at the hands of the professors. They give us some comments on what we did wrong or how to improve, which really helps. Also, we have open book exams, so the main goal is not memorisation but rather thinking critically about the cases that we read together. In addition to these, I think that ultimately our professors are always there for us when we need them. When we email them about something, they immediately reply and they are always available to devote time for either a video call or we can go and talk with them."
How international is your programme?
"It is quite international. We have people from EU countries such as Belgium, Germany, and Finland, and then from all over the world. We have people from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Japan, China, and Indonesia. I really love how international it is.
I really enjoy being in that multicultural environment. It’s also good for learning about different jurisdictions and exchanging knowledge about how things are regulated in different countries. It also helps for self-improvement, to engage with different people in groups. When you do group work with cultural differentiation, it affects the process and I think it all really helps to formulate how you work in the future. At the beginning of the programme, we took a business negotiation course and discussed multiculturalism in negotiations. So apart from being taught about this in our programme, it is visible in daily life, in all the seminars, and we experience it within our group work. It is really cool."
What is your favourite thing about your programme?
“I think preparing for exams is a very smooth process here since our teachers fully prepare us for the exams through the different seminar tasks and the lectures. So, if you do everything on time, you do not even need to prepare for exams, except for just a quick repetition process. I also love the space for academic freedom that is given to us. For example, I recently wanted to change the topic for a paper in my last course prior to less than two weeks till the deadline. My teachers were totally fine with that, and they also helped me a lot to overcome my difficulties switching to a new topic in a very limited time. Last but not least, I love the fact that Lund has very rich resources that you can access at any time both online and at the library. So, I want to make good use of that during the summer as I have some ideas to research and work on them.”
Can you describe a bit about your social life in Lund?
"Yes, so apart from school, I live in a student corridor. In my corridor, we are 14 people, and we share the same kitchen. We are from different parts of the world, so I like to experience cultural differences in my daily life too. Sometimes we organise dinners together and everybody prepares their national food that we can all taste and see everyone’s reactions.
In addition to making friends in my corridor, I am in the student ambassador programme and know people from there. I also volunteer here for ELSA (European Law Students Association) Lund. ELSA is one of the world's biggest law students' associations as it is all over Europe and ELSA Lund is one of the local groups in Sweden. I volunteer there as the director for seminars and conferences. My experience there helped me better engage with the Swedish legal community. Through the ELSA Lund, I had a chance to meet with Swedish law students, and lawyers and interact with them to ask questions about their jurisdictions as well.
Lastly, I am a part of the Swedish Institute Network for Global Professionals (SI NFGP) Lund community since I'm also a SI scholarship holder. They have social events, and movie nights and host different travel opportunities across Sweden."
How was the transition of moving to Sweden?
"I actually got used to everything very quickly in Sweden. One of the main things that I thought was going to be a little challenging was the language because my Bachelor's was in my own language, Azerbaijani. I thought that maybe studying in English would be a little bit difficult for me, but I didn't have that difficulty, thankfully. I also had previous experience living apart from my family during my Bachelor’s. Of course, that was in Azerbaijan and now I can't just jump on a train to make it home for the weekend, but that experience helped me adapt quickly."
Want to know Amil's thoughts on studying European law as a non-EU student? Check out his blog post!