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Carolyne Kaliati

Carolyne Kaliati, LLB, LLM

Format AreaStudent Ambassador, Middlesex University

LLB Law, 2013; LLM Law, 2014

Why did you choose Middlesex to study?

I chose Middlesex because I wanted to come and study in London. I grew up in Malawi, a landlocked country in Eastern Africa close to Zambia and Mozambique, and had spent my whole life there before I moved to the UK in 2009. My aunt lives in London so my mum wanted me to study here so that I was close to her.

Why did you want to come and study in the UK?

Worldwide the UK is seen as a place where you can go and get a good education. Your qualifications look better when it is a UK degree or masters.

Why did you choose to study law at Middlesex?

I had always wanted to study law and when I applied I was made a conditional offer that said I had to do a foundation degree first, so I came to Middlesex when I was 17 and started the foundation year. After I completed this I had already spent a year at the university so although I could have applied elsewhere I knew it was a really good place. I loved the lectures and the support that I got so I felt it was a good decision to continue and do my undergraduate degree here too. I had already made friends and knew my way around the university so I wanted to stay.

How did you find moving to the UK to study?

It has been really fun. I have only met one student from Malawi and at the moment I don't know if there are any others but it is really fun. You get to meet people from lots of other countries, share experiences and you meet people who are from the UK too so are native speakers. It helps you see things from lots of different perspectives.

It hasn't been difficult to adapt. Perhaps studying in English has been a challenge at times, but being away from home is fine. I was at boarding school throughout my primary and secondary education so I was used to it. I guess when it came to the English language I found it hard at first, but I got a lot of support from the Learning Development Unit. A year later I worked there as a Student Learning Assistant and helped other students too. There is a lot of support and though it is well advertised a lot of students perhaps don't realise it is there to help them.

How have you found the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

I have really enjoyed the transition, postgraduate study is more fun. It is a different type of learning that is more in-depth. You look at different things, it is more independent and you get to interact with lecturers and share ideas more than at undergraduate level. It has given me more independence to manage my time because I work at the weekends too.

You were awarded one of the Dean's Academic Scholarships. Could you tell us more about it?

For students who are doing their undergraduate degree at Middlesex and want to continue and do a postgraduate degree afterwards the scholarship is great. I don't know how long the scholarship will run for, but if you do well in your second and third year and get good grades you can apply for it and you if you are awarded the scholarship you get 50 per cent off your fees, which is a big deal! Nobody wants to pay loads of money if it isn't necessary, but having a Masters is really important these days so the scholarship is great.

What is your plan after you complete your Masters?

I want to go to law school if I can get funding or save up enough money and eventually I want to become a corporate lawyer. I am really interested in corporate law and though people might say that it is all about the money, after four years at university paying international fees I would expect my job to pay me well!

Will you stay in the UK after you have finished studying?

I would like to stay here for a while and after some time maybe I will return to Malawi, but I am not going to leave straight away.

What has been your favourite experience at Middlesex?

I think working for the university has probably been one of my best experiences because I have made a lot of my friends working and really enjoyed it. I used to be a Student Learning Assistant helping other students and now I am a Student Ambassador so I work at the graduation ceremonies, at Open Days, at Induction week and other events like that.

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone about to begin studying at Middlesex?

Take advantage of all of the opportunities that the University offers in terms of help through places like the Learning Development Unit, especially if you're not a native speaker.

Try to keep up with your lectures too. First year might sound like a year of just having fun but it is the foundation for your second and third year and builds up your knowledge and confidence, so if you don't do well you might find it difficult to catch up in the second and third year.

Make good friends.

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