Volume 4, Issue 3, (Originally Published on Monday 12th August 2013)
CTLS, or the Center* for Transnational Legal Studies, is a collaborative effort by a number of law schools from around the globe, coordinated by Georgetown University Law Centre and located in London.*
Or, as I like to think of it, as close to a commune of law schools as it is possible to get.
CTLS is different from your traditional exchange, as each semester students and faculty come from member universities, and the majority are there for only one semester.
If I’m being completely honest, I had no intentions of going to CTLS. The plan was always to go on exchange to Amsterdam.
But somehow, when I was speaking to the Study Abroad and Exchange Advisor** I was sold into going to London instead.
And I’m glad that I did... despite the lack of sunlight, a snowstorm in April, and the elusive (but existent) good coffee.
It was a unique experience being surrounded by students who were all in ‘exchange mode’, and having so many diverse points of view in classes.
After the semester finished, I asked an MLS student and the MLS faculty representative to share some thoughts about their experiences at CTLS.
**Matt Healey, possibly the most prompt responder of emails in the entire student centre
Talking with Nina
Nina Janic is one of the three students from MLS who, along with this author and Harith Nordin, participated in the CTLS program in the January 2013 semester.
DM: What made you decide to go to CTLS?
NJ: I had been on exchange in undergrad, so I had an idea of how great [it is] studying overseas, the people you meet, travel, etc. And after almost five years straight of uni I was ready to get away again.
I had heard great things about CTLS from students who had done it, and thought it would be a new exchange experience.
Also, I really love London and there wasn’t that much choice for JD exchange. CTLS was by far the best option, especially as international law has an increasing bearing on all aspects of law.
How did CTLS compare to your expectations prior to arrival?
CTLS has surpassed my expectations. The students and teachers have been incredible. While some classes are not my favourite, as a whole the program offers you a lot. For example, guest lectures, the business breakfast, Lord Millet, etc.
Would you recommend CTLS to others?
Definitely recommend it, especially as a way of expanding your learning options, and to see if you’re interested in international law.
What have you gained from participating in CTLS?
A new understanding of international law, and a bunch of new friends and experiences.
Any advice for people about the application process or living in London?
If you have the luxury of coming to London one to two weeks before the program starts to house-hunt, do it, as you will be able to find a decent apartment.
Also, I highly recommend joining the Facebook group to get some housemates from other countries. I lived with two of the Italian girls from the program I had never met before.
Get outside your comfort zone and move in with students that aren’t from your home uni. London is an incredible city, so make sure you get out lots.
Thoughts about the weather/coffee?
Coffee on the whole is beyond average. However, many New Zealanders and Aussies have made the pilgrimage to rectify this situation. I recommend Prufrock, Nude Espresso, Allpress and so forth.