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Student Snapshot – Muhammad Bilal Ali

Muhammad Bilal Ali is currently studying our LLB Law course online whilst living in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. He tells us all about how studying online as an international student has opened doors, the challenges he has faced and how he overcame them. He also explores the unique experience he has had as an international student and the support he has had from the University to achieve his goals and create a community.

By Elsa Tatam. Published 10 May 2024.

 

My decision to attend university was rooted in my desire to pursue a legal education and contribute meaningfully to the corporate legal sector. The moment I chose The University of Law was when I recognised its strong reputation for legal education, particularly in offering online programs that cater to international students like myself. The University’s focus on practical legal training and its support services for students with disabilities, along with its international recognition, solidified my decision.

Studying online as an international student has been a game-changer for me. The flexibility of online learning means I can pursue my legal education from anywhere in the world, even when I'm travelling to my home country, Pakistan. This flexibility is incredibly valuable, especially with live lectures being recorded and posted on the University’s online portal, Elite. I can study at any time that suits me, ensuring I can keep up with coursework and engage fully in my studies regardless of my location or schedule.

The application process to The University of Law was straightforward and efficient. I completed the online application form and submitted all required documents via the University's website. What stood out was the prompt responsiveness of various university departments. Both the finance department and programme consultants consistently addressed my inquiries within 48 hours, demonstrating a high level of support and efficiency throughout the application process. This swift and helpful communication reaffirmed my confidence in choosing The University of Law for my legal education.

As an international student studying online, I faced challenges with time zone differences and adapting to a new learning format. However, the University's support and the sense of community among fellow students in online forums were instrumental in overcoming these obstacles. The availability of recorded lectures proved invaluable, allowing me to review materials at my convenience despite time differences. Additionally, the University's online learning programs provided essential guidance on effectively navigating new platforms and tools, helping me feel more confident and organised in my studies. Another key supporter who has helped me with any challenges has been Khasiba Omar from the Disability and Inclusion department. Khasiba’s proactive approach, regular check-ins, and provision of essential accommodations such as extended time for assignments have played a crucial role in helping me manage my studies effectively.

Establishing a sense of community as an online student has been remarkably rewarding. The buddy scheme, organised by senior lecturer Emma King, has been instrumental in fostering connections among students. Through this initiative, senior students act as mentors, offering guidance and support to new students like me. This program has provided a structured platform to connect with peers, ask questions, share experiences, and receive valuable insights into navigating academic life at the University. Coupled with WhatsApp student groups, these initiatives have enriched my educational journey by creating a supportive network within the virtual learning environment.

Studying internationally broadens my perspective and equips me with a global outlook on legal issues. This exposure not only enhances my career prospects but also helps me collaborate effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. It gives me a competitive edge in practising law, whether in my home country of Pakistan or in the Middle East, where I've lived most of my life. Understanding different legal systems and cultural contexts enables me to navigate local landscapes adeptly and make a meaningful impact in the legal profession. Whilst of course, managing the course around other commitments requires discipline and effective time management - I've learned to prioritise tasks, set achievable goals and leverage the flexibility of online learning to balance my studies with personal and professional responsibilities.

Studying online at The University of Law means the world to me. It's a chance to chase my academic and career dreams without being tied down by location. The online setup not only supports my visual impairment disability but also fosters a lively and inclusive learning environment that truly enriches my educational experience.

If you are interested in the flexibility that studying online can offer, learn more about our online courses, or if you want to see more real-life student experiences, head over to LiveProspectus.