Hailing from Pakistan, Saima began her studies at the University of Central Lancashire in September 2016 originally enrolling on the LLM Law postgraduate course. After successfully graduating and after a brief spell working for a reputable law firm back home, Saima returned to UCLan with the blessing of her family to undertake a PhD course which is an opportunity she feels extremely honoured to have.
I was originally undecided if I should go to study in Canada, Australia or the UK. I eventually settled on coming to the UK due to Pakistan law being based upon UK law and I then did my own research on UK universities. I spoke about UCLan with previous students back home through Facebook and heard very good reviews and the agent I used also suggested coming here.
When I arrived I was impressed by the Harris Building, which is the Lancashire Law School building - it is a very old, traditional, Victorian building.
I also liked that I met students from all over the world on my course. All of the tutors have always been very helpful, Shaun Mills was very supportive through my LLM course and is still very helpful now with my PhD. You can always email tutors and get a response immediately.
Due to the smaller number of students on the course, it becomes easier to get interaction with the tutors and to make friends. After completing my LLM I went back home to Pakistan and was able to work for a renowned law firm, which shows how UCLan prepare their students for the workplace. In general, I found the course to be enjoyable and one of my favourite memories that stands out for me was after I submitted my first piece of coursework for my first module, I walked out of the building and I was greeted with my first snowfall!
The education style in the UK is completely different to in Pakistan. There’s a lot of self-study and research over here, however you are able to sit in a room for as long as you wish to do your work and I like that you have free access to research papers and journals. Now that I am completing my PhD at UCLan I have my own office, which usually accommodate three people, so I can sit and get on with my work.
I love the weather over here in Preston, the rain and snow is so different to at home and it’s very green and clean here. Preston is a convenient place to live for transportation and I have managed to visit placed like London, Manchester, Belgium and Paris. It’s also extremely safe, even when you are leaving the library late at night or leaving home for an early morning lecture. People are so friendly around here and it’s quite easy to make friends.
There plenty of support on offer from the University/ I have used The <i> and the Students’ Union, who have been extremely helpful and very approachable. There are groups and societies too and now I am doing a PhD I am part of a Facebook group which is useful.
Doing a PhD is something I did not think I would do when I began my LLM course at UCLan, but this place changed my mind! For me, this is the best way to invest money. The first three months will be hard but you will enjoy it here. Have patience, you are learning how to live your life whilst studying overseas; it is not just about education. Personally, this has been the best investment of my life. For my LLM graduation, my parents came over to Preston from Pakistan and noticed what this experience had given me. Even though I returned back to Pakistan after my LLM course for a short period, I came back to UCLan to complete my PHD with the blessing of my family. This is a big honour back in my home country, to have a PHD, so I am very thankful to my family, especially my Mother for always being there for me and for the motivation.
25 July 2019