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Students studying on lawn

Meet Lina from Colombia, studying Law in Australia

UQ people
Published 15 Dec, 2020  ·  3 minute read

Hi, my name is Lina Zarta Jara, I'm from Colombia and I'm doing a Master of Laws at The University of Queensland. I'm also a UQ International Student Ambassador.

Why did you choose to study in Australia and specifically at UQ?

Deciding which location and institution to pursue my master’s degree at was a big decision. After researching, comparing and evaluating the best options, I ended up with a long list of reasons to study at UQ so I made the decision to come to Australia.

The main reason I chose UQ was the wide range of courses I could take to tailor my master’s to my career aspirations which are in International Humanitarian Law. I was also influenced by the academic reputation of UQ's TC Beirne School of Law, which ranks 39 in the QS World University Rankings by subject. Finally, I fell in love with the gorgeous St Lucia campus and my decision was made.

Student with long hair standing front of The University of Queensland signage

What are your thoughts on studying in Australia and Brisbane?

UQ brought me to Australia even though Australia is by itself always going to be an attractive destination for a student. It has breathtaking landscapes and unique nature along with its amazing weather. Brisbane in particular is ideally located if you want to travel and it is also an affordable capital city which makes it an ideal student destination.

My favourite places in Brisbane are the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, which have an amazing view of the city and river, as well as the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and South Bank.

What are the best things about your program at UQ?

This year has been particularly different. The COVID-19 circumstances were a challenge. I wish I could have attended face-to-face classes and participated in the wide range of activities that UQ and its Clubs and Societies offer because this is where you make friends. But I was really lucky because before the lockdown, I attended some events and classes where I made three friends from Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as an Australian (domestic) student. Thanks to these friendships, my academic experience was enhanced.

For me, the course structure and content are excellent. The teachers did a great job. They gave us the highest quality of classes despite everything being online. I really appreciate how hard my professors worked to deliver high quality courses to us in such difficult times. The best is that the professors are incredibly knowledgeable but are still accessible despite their expertise. I found my professors very approachable and helpful.

Inside the UQ law library
Inside the UQ Law Library.

Have you undertaken an internship, volunteer experience or UQ Employability program?

This semester I participated in one of the pro bono programs. I helped out at the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support Group centre twice a week, helping refugees with paperwork like visa applications and explaining the process to them. I found this really rewarding and I learnt a lot. I was still able to volunteer there during the COVID-19 crisis and I believe it really helped me to get through it by helping others.

What advice would you give people from other countries about studying at UQ?

At UQ any course you choose will challenge you but you are provided with all the tools necessary to successfully achieve your goals. I suggest reading the electronic course profiles (ECP) in advance and prepare for classes ahead of time. The Law School itself provides outstanding student support through a range of programs. I would recommend students take advantage of all the opportunities and resources that UQ, the Law School and UQ Life offers, they are super helpful and the programs are free.

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