There are many decisions you'll need to make if you're thinking of applying for a master's degree in law, but one that many people forget is the option of studying abroad. You might have caught the bug for travelling if you did a year or semester abroad in your undergraduate degree, or maybe you're hoping to get a more international look at law.
Why study abroad?
Studying in a different country allows you to explore a new place in a less nerve-wracking environment. Moving to a new country can be a very dramatic change, and you'll need to consider accommodation, getting a new job, potential visas, meeting new friends, adjusting to a new culture... While you'll still need to consider some of these things when you're studying abroad, most aspects will be somewhat easier, and you'll have the safety net of a definite date you'll be returning home.
There are plenty of opportunities for international students to make friends, whether that be through meeting people on your course or through joining societies. Some universities will hold events for international students to network at the beginning of term, to help you settle in. You'll also have access to your university's advice services if you ever have any trouble or queries.
Why study an LLM abroad?
You've most likely spent three years studying how the law works in the UK – so why would you now choose to move to a different country?
Well, other than the fact you get to explore a new country, many LLM students choose to go abroad in order to take a look at the legal system in another country, with the potential for relocating permanently and becoming a qualified lawyer there. If this is your plan, you'll have to check what qualifications you need to become a practising lawyer in your chosen destination, as usually an LLM is not enough.
A lot of LLMs focus specifically on international law, however, so if this is your chosen field there's no real reason for you to stay in the UK (unless you want to).
Funding for an LLM abroad
If you do decide to study abroad, you'll sadly be unable to make the most of the new government postgraduate loan, which allows students studying in the UK to borrow up to £10,000. This means you'll have to find your own funding, whether that be a bank loan, savings or scholarships from your law school (if any are available for international students).
The good news is that master's courses in Europe tend to be significantly cheaper than in the UK, if not free for EU nationals! We're unsure what effect Brexit will have on this, but for now UK students still have the same opportunities as other EU students looking to study abroad. You will still of course need money for living costs.
Choosing to study abroad is a big leap, but if you've found the perfect course and have a way of funding it, there's no reason why you shouldn't get applying.