See why two Canadian students choose to get their Law degree at Griffith University.


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Perfect Blend - Life of a Canadian Law Student at Griffith University
Canadian students Anika Chelin and Jason Wahlla

There’s nothing like the Gold Coast in Canada, so Canadian student Anika Chelin decided the Sunshine State was where she was headed.

She chose to combine travel and study, and go home with a law degree after soaking up a few years of Queensland’s warmth and world-beating beaches.

Of course that’s not the only reason Chelin opted to study law at the Gold Coast’s Griffith University. She knew Griffith was one of only two universities in Australia to offer Canadian law subjects, which would make it much easier for her when she returned home to sit her exams and practise.

Like many international students who come to Australia to study law, Chelin already had an undergraduate degree – a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Guelph in Ontario. This meant she was able to undertake law studies at Griffith as a graduate entrant and do her LLB.

I looked into many different options and Australia seemed like the best for both travelling and getting an education. With Griffith offering Canadian courses, I knew it was the best option for me. I had always heard amazing things about Australia and I just needed to see it for myself

Jason Wahlla

Another Canadian student, Jason Wahlla, is in his final year of an LLB at Griffith. Australia beckoned after he completed an undergraduate degree in criminology back in Vancouver.

“I looked into many different options and Australia seemed like the best for both travelling and getting an education,” he says. “With Griffith offering Canadian courses, I knew it was the best option for me.

“I had always heard amazing things about Australia and I just needed to see it for myself.”

Now, he reckons, it’s one of the best decisions he has ever made. He’s travelled, met some of his closest friends and almost completed his law degree. After he graduates, he intends to return to Canada and one day open his own law firm.

Canada is a relatively new market for Griffith but one that the university intends to pursue. Head of School Therese Wilson said it was particularly attractive for Canadian students wanting to study overseas, because Canada’s higher education system offers only a limited number of law places.

Last year, 3054 international students enrolled in law courses at Australian universities. The top three markets were China, Canada and Singapore. Both Chelin and Wahlla admit that the distance they are from home can be difficult sometimes, but technology goes some of the way towards bridging that. And both have formed new networks of friends and colleagues.

Foreign students tend to rate their Australian experience highly: an international student survey in 2016 found an overall satisfaction rate of 89 per cent.

“My experience here has been amazing,” Chelin says, emphasising that she has worked hard to achieve a healthy study-life balance.

“I’ve come so far [from Canada] that I want to make sure I’m doing well academically – that’s at the top of my list – but having a healthy lifestyle is still a priority for me.”

This year Chelin became president of Griffith’s Canadian Law Society, founded last year. Now in her third year of study, she is thinking about pursuing a career in entertainment and media law when she returns home.

Source Article: Australian Law Review