Trying to stay positive while coursework and stress level build up…

ahhhh the end of term is drawing so close, which means… deadlines, deadlines, deadlines.  One of the great things about NUS is how much control you have over your own weekly timetable and assessment mode.  With the view of not having final exams, I elected to have classes that were assessed 100% coursework.  This might be spilt up into 25% class participation (meaning you have to be well prepared for class, to be ready to go “on the spot”) and then some small assignments every fortnight, and then one big paper/extended essay.  This continuous assessment through out the term has had its ups and downs… it means I’ve had to work more consistently through out the term than I would do in Edinburgh, BUT it means I finish completely on the last day of class (skipping the 3 weeks of exams!!).  More time to enjoy my last days in Singapore, and the option to start SUMMER and travelling sooner!

Yet… the end of term really is coming closer and I have a horrible amount of coursework to get down.  One research paper for each of my 4 modules.  Is this do-able?  Will I actually get it all finished in time?  Everyone around me seems equally stressed out the in library.  The local students have been in here 24/7 for the past couple of weeks, and the exchange students are also starting to get on that bandwagon.  Anyways despite this coursework mission – which is turning into a 9 till 5 job – I’m hoping to stay positive and not stress out too much.  After all, exchange is just pass/fail right?  Don’t want my last memories of Singapore to be horrible ones of sitting here stressed.  I’ll do what I can during my library sessions, and then in my free time I’m still going to make the effort to enjoy the last few weeks… work/life balance is a difficult one to strike, but important!

At least lots of us are in the same position, and it’s only another couple of weeks to go until it’s all over… and the (almost) 6 month summer starts!  Us students can’t really complain can we?  In any case, my modules are pretty interesting this year.  Much much more so than the dry black and white law that we do back in Scotland.  Instead, we’ve tackled a lot of international/cross border issues (rather than purely studying one legal jurisdiction) and comparative law.  Not only have I know an appreciation of  the Singaporean legal system, but of many countries around the world.  These include the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even the unique system of Japan.  In addition, we’ve look into much more politics, ideological approaches, philosophical approaches, public law issues and legal theory.  It’s been a much enjoyed break from the private/commercial law that our degree back in Scotland is so intensely focused on.

My modules here have been…

Comparative Constitutional law, Freedom of Speech, Comparative Criminal law, Legal Argument & Narrative, International Patent law and policy, Rise of law in the Modern World, Transnational Criminal law, and Comparative Advocacy.  This last course even brought us into observe the Singaporean courts and mediation trials!

This huge variety of modules (and there are sooo many more to choose from… check out the NUS faculty of law website!) is just another perk of exchange – giving yourself a break from the “same same” studies at home!  And what’s even better, I have this intriguing content of classes, AND a great timetable – classes only on mondays and tuesdays 🙂  Yet another brilliant aspect of being here in Singapore…. just another thing to add to the list I’m going to miss awfully next year upon my return!

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