Once you've gone through the process of applying and preparing for your LLM it's time to begin the course itself.
Here are 5 ways to jump start that settling in process and get ready to begin your LLM.
1. Get funding and official matters dealt with early
Sort out all your funding issues early on and have as much as you can ready before you arrive on campus. This will let you concentrate on meeting people and studying. Most law schools have some scholarships, grants and bursaries available for LLM students, but applications are usually fiercely competitive so get your forms filled in as early as possible. LLMstudy.com has Global LLM Study Bursaries worth £500 towards the tuition fees of any LLM program worldwide – find out more here. There are also private funding companies like Prodigy Finance that offer tailor-made funding for LLM students. Prodigy Finance has a unique credit assessment model, enabling it to offer collateral-free, no-cosigner education loans to lawyers attending the world’s best LLM programs. There are also some banks that specialise in loans for postgraduate study. Don't forget about important things like insurance and warranties if you've bought new laptops or other technology. Long before you arrive you want to ensure that your visas and health insurances are all in order if you are travelling abroad and this is especially important if you are planning on working for a law firm while you are studying.
2. Join clubs and law societies
Your university or law school's student's association is brimming with clubs and societies to join and these are great places to meet people who are studying on your course, as well as those who aren’t. You will also find that most LLM courses will have a corresponding LLM Law Society that is separate from other law societies in the Law School. Join all and any societies and clubs that interest you, as it's a vital part of gaining experience and possible networking for your future career.
3. Make sure you’re ahead with your LLM reading list
Spend the summer reading up about and around your subject and getting ahead. This will allow you a little breathing space when you start and you'll be able to go on a night out without feeling guilty about the time you have missed studying. It doesn't matter if you are studying full-time or part-time as an LLM is an intense period of work and you'll want to concentrate on your studies. But don't forget about spending time getting to know people as much for the social interaction to relax as for the future benefits of networking.
4. Meet other LLM students ahead of the first day
Spend a bit of time checking out your Law Department and Law Societies' social media pages along with the Student's Union and your institution's pages. By knowing a few students in advance you'll move on quickly to establishing a network of friends and you can get down to the serious business of your LLM. If you're an international student, then seek out your institutions International Office and see what they've got planned ahead of time to meet other international students to do things together like exploring the local area.
5. Unpack, relax and explore your local area
If you're staying in halls of residence, then spend a little time personalising your space and creating a comfortable room that you'll enjoy studying and relaxing in. The same goes for if you're staying in private student style accommodation like that privided by Fresh Student Living, or in a private flat. You'll be able to concentrate on your course much more easily if you have made your space your own and are happy in your accommodation. Then spend an afternoon seeing the local sights before you knuckle down to your studies if you're new to the area and enjoy the first couple of days in a new place.
Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international LLM students. Other student funding options are available and LLMstudy.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. LLMstudy.com accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.