I am Bertrand Nzabandora, a third-year lawyer at Wadham, currently spending my Erasmus year at the University of Leiden. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship.
My Scholarship experience has been great so far! I have been given access to an extensive network of support that accommodates for my specific needs. One of the scholarship's greatest strengths is that it is very flexible. For example, as I am on a year abroad, I am lucky enough to have two sets of mentors: one set in London and one set in Amsterdam. Essentially, this means that what was initially a complicating factor has now become an advantage as I have access to twice the support network. I have also met six friendly and ambitious students from different universities. I am grateful to be surrounded by such people, as it creates a good environment in which to learn.
On a more general note, my year abroad has also been a great experience. As the University of Leiden is very international, I have met people from all over the world, including Australia, South Africa and the United States. It is not just Dutch students! However, the Dutch students that I have met have all been very friendly and accommodating, which is crucial when you are still settling down in the first couple of weeks. I have also benefited from a wider range of modules choices, meaning that I have been able to studying completely different topics from 'Discrimination in Law and Society' to 'Trade and Finance in a Global Context'.
Overall, I have a great first couple of months on the Scholarship and at Leiden, and I expect that this will be the case for the whole year!