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Written by Ryan Sutton, Bachelor of Laws student and former Student for a Semester

Throughout school I was unsure about going to university and in fact, I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to become. But fast forward to the end of Year 10 I realised that university - which before now had seemed like an afterthought - was something I was now seriously considering.

Before Year 10 I had no idea what I wanted to do. Anyhow, through undertaking legal studies at school I developed an interest in the Law. From Year 10 onwards I’ve had a passion for the Law. The fact that there are so many areas of Law, that it involves intellectually challenging issues and how it is not black or white further developed my passion.

Let me take you back to the start, specifically the start of my experience with Bond University. In 2018 (Term 3 of Year 10) in between studying, assignments and binge-watching Suits I discovered the Student for a Semester program at Bond through Bond Open Day. I figured this would be a great opportunity to gain an insight into university life since I would need to go to university to get a Law degree (unless I pulled a Mike Ross).

What is the Student for a Semester program?

The Student for a Semester program involves undertaking a university subject which you can select in the field that you are interested in. After, you have chosen your selected subject you simply have to register for the one semester. However, with this subject you gain access to all the things a full-time student would have. This includes the facilities, the Academic Skills Centre (who are amazing and can help with assignments and any work) and the gym to name a few. The course runs for the full semester of 14 weeks and upon completion you acquire a Certificate as well as points towards that course – meaning if you choose to study at Bond you have already completed one subject for your degree.

After attending Open Day and finding out about this program I was sold. Long story short, I was accepted and started my course in Semester 183 (Semester 3 of 2018). While the university work was in conjunction with my school work I managed to find the workload reasonable.

Quick tip: I found mapping out and diarising all the due dates helped in staying on top of due dates.

The subject I chose was Contemporary Issues in Law and Society (CILS). The class wasn’t like doing algebra (sorry to those who actually enjoy algebra) in that it was complex while fun and something I really engaged in. Everyone I met in my time as a Student for a Semester was really helpful and supportive. Also, due to the small class sizes that Bond offers I was actually able to talk to my Lecturer/ Tutor to help clarify certain topics or to ask about assessment. The whole process was certainly enjoyable and rewarding and after 14 weeks I had finally completed my course.  

Ryan Sutton

What next?

After the course was over I had made up my mind Bond was where I wanted to study Law. So, the next year in 2019 I applied to Bond University (quick tip: it is also a great idea to consider scholarships when applying).

Now two years later in 2020, I am a full-time Law student at Bond and to tell you the truth - I’m loving it.

I am only currently in my fist semester and the workload is realistic, my classes are all still just as engaging and I haven’t been thrown in the deep end…yet.

The opportunities at Bond are also endless and there are so many clubs, societies and organisations you can get involved with. So far I’ve already been involved in the Law Student Association's Brian Orr Mooting Competition (which was a great/ challenging experience for those who want to study law) and signed up as a Student Ambassador 

The thing with Bond is that you get from it what you make of it.

There are also so many networking and social events at Bond which are invaluable for gaining connections and potentially lining up a job in your area of study. For instance, the other week I went to the Law Student Association’s Careers Breakfast and was able to sit with and meet partners from top tier firms.

My advice to high school students

Even if you don’t know about studying at Bond or are set on somewhere else I would highly recommend undertaking the Student for a Semester program first. For me it changed my perspective, helped me discover my passion for the Law and regardless it is a great insight into university life.

To sum up, Bond is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve had friends from school go to other universities and to be honest I’m glad I didn’t follow just because ‘everyone is going there’. Bond opens up so many doorways and the friends you’ll make and the opportunities you will have far outweigh following the crowd.

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