"The University of Surrey was the first open day that I didn’t want to leave as soon as possible, and I wanted to continue exploring. I just knew it was the place for me."
When did you decide to come to Surrey? What were you doing and how did it feel?
I came to the University of Surrey Open Day because my best friend had lived in the area prior to moving to Dorset and she encouraged me to go and have a look. The University of Surrey was the first open day that I didn’t want to leave as soon as possible and wanted to continue exploring and I just knew it was the place for me.
Why did you choose to come to Surrey?
For me at the time I wanted to go to a university that had a placement year and was a campus location. The ambassadors spoke so highly of the placement year which, when combined with the inviting campus made Surrey a strong contender.
I loved the feel of the campus and Guildford, it instantly felt like the next place for me. My first impression was that it was friendly and accessible. There is something for everyone here.
Why are you passionate about your subject?
I am really interested in the way the legal system works and affects everyday people. I am interested in the trickle-down effects large companies make that ultimately affect consumer habits and lifestyles.
Why did you choose to study your course at Surrey?
I chose Surrey due to the option of the placement year for one but also because of its location. My family live an hour and a half away which is far enough – but not too far – as well as London being only a short ride away. This partnered with the impressive study spaces and extra-curricular options made Surrey the perfect choice.
What do you like about your course and why?
I love how engaging the lecturers are and how many opportunities are available to us as students such as mooting, client interviewing and the use of the court of the future.
What are the academic staff and facilities like on your course?
"We are so lucky at Surrey to have such a widespread of invested and engaging staff. My friends from other universities are so impressed at the amount of time that is provided by our lecturers."
We are so lucky at Surrey to have such a widespread of invested and engaging staff. My friends from other universities are so impressed at the amount of time that is provided by our lecturers.
To add to this we also have access to a wide range of facilities such as computer rooms, common rooms and the court of the future.
Are you part of any clubs or societies? How have they contributed to your Surrey experience?
"...these societies have completely shaped my university life and aided me to make such a large number of friends."
I am part of both the cricket club and the Law Society acting as the social secretary last year. Both of these societies have completely shaped my university life and aided me to make such a large number of friends. Without taking part in these I believe my social circle would have remained very small.
Have you lived in University accommodation? If so, what was it like?
I lived in Manor Park in my first year and it was an incredible experience. Halls are where I met my best friends and learnt to do everything without my parents’ help.
I love the vibes of living on campus as everyone is in the same position you are. It feels like you are on a year-long residential. I also enjoyed having everything you could need in one place.
What are the best things about life in general at Surrey?
"The best part of life in Surrey is the accessibility."
The best part of life in Surrey is the accessibility. Everything you may want or need is just a short journey away. During my first two years I have made good use of both main gym options (The Gym and Surrey Sports Park), the vast number of bars and restaurants and the social life that comes with living in a city full of students.
How do you spend your time on campus?
I love spending time accessing everything on campus – some days I spend in the library and other days I will use one of the on campus cafes to catch up with friends and do some chilled work. I also love using the designated study spaces like the Nest as it is such a good change of scenery when a piece of work is especially difficult.
Do you feel supported at University?
My tutor at University is very hands on and has been so helpful during the past two years I have already spent here. I have also worked on the academic advice team and have seen how hard the Union works to make sure the students at Surrey feel as supported as possible.
I have used the Hive for questions such as council tax exemption and SFE requirements and they have been very helpful.
What careers support have you received?
"A massive highlight for me is working with one of our refuge clients to understand the legal world she was facing... Guiding her through the legal system and seeing how much that has changed and freed her life has been an incredible experience."
I am currently on my professional training year (PTY) so I had weekly professional training sessions during my second year. These focused on skills like CV-writing and interview prep as well as ways to get the most out of your year in industry.
I am now on my PTY and I am working in Reading at a domestic abuse agency where my work involves answering the phone to survivors and offering immediate support for all queries. I work to ensure that they are safe and that they have plans to maintain this safety. I also support these survivors to make applications for legal documentation to make their and their children’s safety more permanent.
A massive highlight for me is working with one of our refuge clients to understand the legal world she was facing following her leaving her husband. Guiding her through the legal system and seeing how much that has changed and freed her life has been an incredible experience.
Would you recommend a Professional Training placement to others? Why?
I would absolutely recommend a placement year. As someone who was unsure after my first year whether I would enjoy the placement year, I am so glad I did it. I have learned a lot about working in a company, policies, working with clients and so much more that will be so important when I leave university.
I hope that my employability has been much improved and will help me to stand out when I am looking for roles in the future.
What has been your best moment at Surrey so far?
The Law Ball was an incredible moment of my University life. The Ball was something that I had organised and planned. To see it all come together and everyone looking so smart and grown-up for the evening was such a lovely part of my experience.
Do you think you’ve changed since you started at Surrey? How?
I think I have matured so much since I started University. I came from a very quiet village in Dorset and moving to a city and living on my own has done me a lot of good and prepared me for the ‘real world’ well.
Finally, do you have any other comments you’d like to offer about your time at Surrey?
"The opportunity to meet, live and grow with best possible group of people is something I wouldn’t have got at home and I feel very lucky!"
Moving away from home and living with strangers may be nerve-wracking but nine-times out of ten it will work out one way or another and it may well change your life. I am currently living with the best possible group of people who are so supportive and will go far beyond university life. The opportunity to meet, live and grow with them is something I wouldn’t have got at home and I feel very lucky!
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