Exchange Testimonials from JD Students

Thailand Beach McKamey
Photo Credit: Mark McKamey - Ko Phi Phi Thailand

Hong Kong University

Testimonial from Jason Lin, 3L JD student.

Went on exchange from September to December 2022.

Jason Lin Fall 2022 - Hong Kong, China

My exchange term in Hong Kong was the most memorable and exciting experience in law school. It was an amazing opportunity for me to experience what it was like living in Asia and immerse myself in the local culture and lifestyle. Living in a large international city, Hong Kong allowed me to meet and become friends with people from various countries and all walks of life. It's comforting to know that I have connections, both social and professional, all over the globe and I'll have friends to hang out with if I ever visit! The city itself is also great. The ever hustling and bustling streets of Hong Kong keeps things fresh and exciting. There is no way you'll finish exploring everything the city offers before your exchange term ends (at least I couldn't). Additionally, Hong Kong is located near many other countries that are all distinct and fascinating, so if you love travelling, Hong Kong is a great place to set as your headquarters for travel plans! 

Jason Lin Fall 2022 - Pattaya Village, Thailand

In terms of HKU itself, it is a huge school with a beautiful campus. The students are friendly and there is no shortage of other exchange students to help you adapt and learn. The professors are great and the course selections are huge. There are so many interesting and niche courses you can take that would otherwise be unavailable in most other universities. Not to mention, it's a great opportunity to learn a new language!

Jason Lin Fall 2022 - Bangkok, Thailand

The only downside to going on exchange is the feeling of melancholy when it all ends. All in all, 10/10 would recommend exchange.

Hong Kong

University of Limerick, Ireland

Testimonial from Sana Fatima, 3L JD student.

Went on exchange from September to December 2022.Glendalough, Ireland
Sana Fatima Fall 2022 - Glendalough, Ireland

"In the fall semester of my last year at UVic Law, I was fortunate enough to go on exchange to the University of Limerick (UL) in Ireland. I think that exchange has been one of my favourite life experiences, and is easily the highlight of my time at law school! On an academic level, I was able to learn about media and criminal law in the Irish context, and explore how the European Union operates across the continent. The school itself provided students with a lot of academic and mental health supports, and I found that they really emphasized getting to know other exchange students while travelling around Ireland. UL frequently took us on weekend trips to nearby towns and cities, and showed us so much of Ireland's natural beauty. 

I strongly recommend that students go on exchange if they are able to. During my time in Ireland, I was able to experience living in a new country and got to travel around Europe as well. I tried new foods, experienced different cultures, soaked in the art and history, and met a lot of different people. It is difficult to condense so many beautiful moments into a few sentences, but I can say that when I look back at the four months I spent on exchange, I think very fondly of Ireland - a country that is home to both scenic landscapes and the kindest, warmest, most helpful people!"

Sana Fatima Fall 2022 - Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, Ireland

National University of Singapore

Smith NUS

Shannon Smith ('17) visiting Singapore's Gardens of the Bay, Mount Batur (Bali, Indonesia) and Melacca (Malasia)

"The NUS Faculty of Law was an extremely welcoming community and provided a fantastic exchange. The local NUS students were very friendly and had activities organized for the exchange students to explore different parts of the city and meet fellow exchangers/locals. There were many other exchange students there during my semester and it was easy to connect with them for travelling or sightseeing. There were a lot of elective courses available to choose from including many in the public and private international law fields. I found all of my professors and courses to be quite engaging with a similar workload to UVic.

Singapore itself is an easy city to live in and to get around. There are some phenomenal museums and galleries, a lot of shopping, and a few nice hikes/other sightseeing areas. It’s quite a multicultural city with four official languages. English is widely spoken with it being the official language for the government and business. It’s also a wonderful travel hub for the rest of South East Asia with many budget airlines travelling around the region. It was easy and cheap to travel during days off of school to other countries around there." Shannon Smith - JD Student ('17)


Thailand photos

Mark McKamey ('16): Mountain view on Ko Phi Phi, Thailand; Obtaining diving ticket on Ko Tao, Thailand; Repelling down waterfalls in Dalat, Vietnam; Chinese New Year in Bangkok, Thailand

"I cannot speak highly enough of my exchange experience in Singapore. It was the best decision I made in law school. While in Singapore I hung out with exchange students from all over the world and made some great friends. It was fascinating to chat with such a diverse group, to hear about their homes and to contrast their experience and perspectives with others.

While still in classes I was able to visit Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, and to fully explore the beautiful island-state of Singapore. After classes ended my girlfriend flew over and we travelled for two and a half months. We went to Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. 

Some of my favorite experiences and memories came from travelling on exchange. I lounged on stunning and secluded tropical beaches. I dove and snorkeled in world renowned coral reefs. I swam with whale sharks, turtles and manta rays. I repelled down waterfalls and kayaked through caves. I took in a sunrise from the peak of an active volcano and motorcycled through breathtaking mountain passes. I hiked through rice terraces and tiptoed around wild komodo dragons. I ziplined across jungle valleys with gibbon monkeys and slept in the world's highest tree fort. I savoured many delicious exotic foods. I shared drinks and conversation with new friends from across the globe.

I had a great experience at the National University of Singapore. The faculty were good (no language barriers) and the students were friendly and helpful. The campus is nice and the residence village where I stayed (UTown) was stunning and a great outdoor study by Starbucks. I especially liked the food court there, which had an ridiculously awesome variety of Asian cuisines.

Don't miss it. Go on exchange." Mark McKamey - JD Student ('16)

Student exchange Singapore

Victoria Moore ('15) riding in an auto-rickshaw in Siem Reap, Cambodia while on an exchange term in Singapore.

"During my exchange term, I learned about international and transnational law in an incredibly diverse classroom setting. I climbed mountains and volcanoes. I explored ancient temples of the Pagan dynasty by bike. I hiked through rice paddies in Northern Vietnam. I met people entering the legal profession in countries from most of the continents in the world. I watched the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team win a gold medal from a pub in Laos filled with Canadians. I celebrated Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur, became a regular at a food stall in Little India, and smiled through daily language barriers. I learned the etiquette of eating at “hawker centres” (Singapore’s famous outdoor food markets, where a tissue on the table means the spot is reserved). I tried the infamous, potent durian, which is so widely enjoyed in South East Asia (yet banned from most public buildings and transportation). I met people who have genuinely changed my life. During my exchange term, I reaffirmed for myself why I am in the legal profession." Victoria Moore - JD Student ('15).

Sydney University, Australia

Hindle, Scott Sydney exchange Spring 2016

Scott Hindle ('16): University of Sydney, Australia and playing with monkeys in Ubud, Indonesia

"I had been on exchange to Hong Kong in my undergrad so when I started at law school I couldn’t wait to get out for another adventure.

Culturally and from a legal perspective, Australia is quite similar to Canada but with some interesting local quirks. USyd and especially the law school are massive compared to UVic. It’s a top world ranked law school so a great chance to challenge yourself intellectually and be surrounded by some top legal minds.

But really, Australia is best known for koalas, kangaroos and cowabunga - and I met all 3! With the semesters in Australia a bit offset from UVic you get tons of time to travel and explore the faraway land, beaches, and sun - all with the added benefit of opposite seasons from Canada. From meeting the local marsupials, swimming with sea turtles or simply lying on the beach, Australia is a great place to be. Sydney is a beautiful city with easy travel to everywhere you want to go – Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, and across Australia proper. If you have time and $$, take the long way there or back hopping through SE Asia or Hawaii for a great Australasian adventure!" Scott Hindle - JD Student ('16)

Utrecht University, Netherlands

 Domtower in Utrecht, Netherlands

Qasim Kareemi ('18):Domtower in Utrecht, Netherlands

"For me the exchange was a great opportunity to explore living in a country like the Netherlands while also traveling around Europe. I saw football matches and ancient castles. I got to explore the Netherlands and Belgium pretty thoroughly while also traveling to Germany, France, and even Morocco. 

The classes were interesting and covered international law subjects you do not get to study in Canadian law schools. The faculty was great and most classes are located in the beautiful city center by cafes, canals and parks. 

Utrecht is a great city to bike around and explore. It has a nice pace of life with tons of great restaurants and shops. The people are blunt yet friendly, speak English and always appreciate you trying out Dutch (even if you’re terrible at it). It has a similar climate to Victoria so packing is easy. It is also centrally located in the Netherlands so it is a great home base for exploring the country/region. It’s also only about a 30 minute train ride to get to Amsterdam or Schiphol airport.

I loved my time on exchange at Utrecht University and I highly recommend the experience to anyone interested in travel or international law." Qasim Kareemi - JD Student ('18)


Utrecht collage Gina Addario Berry

Gina Addario-Berry ('17) visiting Ghent, Belgium while on exchange at Utrecht University.  Photo on right is a view from the top of Dom Tower.

"Utrecht is an absolutely beautiful city. With a high concentration of universities and colleges, it is relatively easy to get by as an international student as most people speak English quite fluently. Utrecht has a rich history, beautiful architecture (both modern and traditional) a vibrant music scene, easy to navigate cycling lanes everywhere, and easy access to Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands. During my exchange, I studied International Organized Crime, Public International Law, and Legal Ethics. It was both challenging and interesting to take a criminology course, and to examine legal issues from a different perspective. I had classmates from all over the world and lived in a multicultural neighbourhood with exchange students from Europe, Asia and Australia. Aside from the academic aspects, I think that the experience of moving to a completely unfamiliar place, meeting all new people and trying to adapt to a different culture and lifestyle is truly valuable to one's personal growth and self-discovery. There were definitely challenges to living abroad, but I am glad that I pushed myself to make the most of my time, and I am very grateful that UVic provided me with this once in a life time opportunity." Gina Addario-Berry - JD Student ('17)

Photos of Utrecht Samson Rapley

Samson Rapley ('17) by the Kasteel de Haar near Utrecht and the canals of Utrecht.

"Without a doubt, studying abroad at Utrecht has been one of the best choices and experiences of my life. The Netherlands is a very welcoming place (everybody speaks English!) and Utrecht has a vibrant student community (20% of the population are students!). However, it should be noted that the level of rain that Utrecht receives is comparable with that of Victoria.

In terms of student life, the Erasmus Student Network regularly hosts different events. A number of these events have included travel to various Dutch cities, experiencing Dutch culture, and tasting Dutch food.

Moreover, if you want to experience the rest of Europe, Schiphol Airport is nearby, where cheap international flights are regularly available. The public transportation system in Europe is exceptional and I had no problem getting to other parts of the Netherlands or to the neighbouring countries.

Educationally, the courses at Utrecht are diverse in choice, fair, and taught at a high standard. I found that my contact with other international students helped provide me with new perspectives on how law works within other legal environments.

Overall, my time studying abroad has benefited me both personally and educationally. I would highly recommend Utrecht as an exchange choice!" Samson Rapley - JD Student ('17)

Student exchange Utrecht

Lauryn Kerr ('15) at a FC Barcelona game in Spain, while on exchange at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

"The decision to go on exchange to the University of Utrecht was the best decision I have ever made! The university culture, the city of Utrecht, the country of the Netherlands, and all of the fantastic people I met from around the world made it an experience I will never forget. Not to mention the university is ranked 57th in the world, academically! (Shanghai Ranking, 2014). I was able to study some interesting courses that aren’t offered at UVic, and learn about international law against the backdrop of the home of the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice in the nearby city of The Hague. In my free time, I was also fortunate enough to visit a number of other countries including Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. If you are thinking about going on exchange to Utrecht, I would highly recommend it!" Lauryn Kerr - JD Student ('15).

Vrije University, Netherlands


Student exchange Amsterdam

Emily Tallon ('15) exploring the streets of Amsterdam.

"I spent four months in my second year of law school at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Going on exchange was undoubtedly the highlight of law school. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the world while broadening my understanding of other legal systems. I was able to travel around Europe, meet friends from all over the world, and foster an interest in international law. It was valuable to learn how the law operates in different countries and compare it to what I’ve learned about the Canadian legal system. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend exchange to anyone. It was an invaluable experience of personal growth, learning, and adventure. Vrije was a very welcoming and friendly university, with tons of events and opportunities to meet people from around the globe. Amsterdam is a vibrant and cool city. Everyone bikes wherever they are going, and there are endless events, concerts, museums, and streets to explore. After living in Amsterdam, I can say it is one of my very favourite cities in the world." Emily Tallon - JD Student ('15).

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


R Colwell hiking in New Zealand

Hiking in New Zealand. Photo by JD student Renata Colwell ('16)

“My exchange at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) was a fantastic experience. I had the opportunity to study in a historic building in the heart of New Zealand’s capital, learn from excellent professors, hear from Kiwi judges and policy-makers, and add comparative perspective to my JD by digging deeply into Māori law and human rights law. I also had a chance to attend a hearing at the Waitangi Tribunal, which hears Māori claims regarding past and present Crown conduct and provides non-binding recommendations. Wellington is a vibrant, hilly, coastal city with a thriving café culture, excellent free museums, and truly epic weather – sometimes the rain comes down sideways, but it grows on you! I shared a university-owned apartment with two international postgraduate students, and got to know some of the locals by joining a community choir. I also had plenty of opportunities to explore the stunning New Zealand countryside, both in the Wellington region and further afield on the North and South Islands. Some of the highlights were seeing rare native birds flying free at Zealandia Ecosanctuary near Wellington, cycling the Hawke’s Bay coastline, and “tramping” (hiking) in the Southern Alps. I highly recommend VUW to prospective exchange students.” Renata Colwell – JD Student (’16)

Student exchange Wellington

Rafting in New Zealand. Photo by JD student Devin MacDonald ('14)

"Victoria University of Wellington is an amazing place to do an exchange. VUW is a great school with outstanding lecturers. The campus is beautiful and the law school is located next to the political heart of the country. Wellington is a vibrant little city with huge personality. The city is small enough that you never need to take a car or a bus but large enough that you never run out of different things to do. I chose to go on exchange at the Victoria University of Wellington because I wanted to experience a new part of the world. Being situated in Wellington allowed me to explore New Zealand and go on journeys in some of the most scenic places on earth. From the geysers and hot springs in the north to the glaciers and fjords in the south, New Zealand is an ideal place for education and adventure." Devin MacDonald - JD Student ('14).

University of Victoria - Incoming Exchange Students

"I chose to do an exchange semester at the University of Victoria to learn from the renowned indigenous law faculty. I also welcomed the opportunity to escape the desert for a semester. As a bonus, all of my courses were pass/fail. I took four amazing seminars there: Indigenous Lands, Rights and Governance—a course designed by John Borrows, the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law; Critical Issues in Restorative Law taught by Val Naoleon, Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance; Violence Against Indigenous Lands and Bodies; and First Nations Taxation. The courses were rich, engaging, and thought provoking. Perhaps most valuably, learning Canadian Aboriginal Law forced me to better understand American Indian Law through drawing comparisons between the two.

I also had fun outside of the classroom. The law students were extremely welcoming and included me on numerous adventures. Those included local hiking trips, bike rides and overnight trips to the Island’s coolest surf town as well as a gulf island. I also participated in my first curling tournament, a “Bonspiel,” and my team came in second place!

I highly recommend the Victoria exchange to any student interested in indigenous law and exploring beautiful Vancouver Island." Simon Gertler on UVic Law exchange from Arizona State University ('18)


Carolyn Harris at Inner Harbour F17

Carolyn Harris ('17) on exchange at UVic: view of Inner Harbour, downtown Victoria

"I had a brilliant experience studying abroad at the University of Victoria. Not only did I find the courses offered intellectually stimulating but I enjoyed immersing myself in Canadian culture and was made to feel incredibly welcome by my fellow UVic law students. 

While similar to Australia in many ways, I learnt so much about the Canadian legal system and was challenged to think about the role of the legal system, and lawyers, on a much deeper level. Specifically, I really enjoyed the focus placed on engaging with Indigenous legal traditions. I found all my subjects to be incredibly thought provoking and I know that as I enter the corporate world I will continue to think about law reform and social justice.

The Law School felt like one big supportive community and it was inspiring to study with generous, intelligent and motivated students. The teaching and support staff at UVic also made my exchange experience so rewarding.

I feel that the saying “you only get out, what you put in” applies to the exchange experience. I challenged myself intellectually and personally while at UVic and definitely feel that I benefitted because of this. I made lifelong friends and enjoyed the time I had to explore Victoria, Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. 

I would highly recommend an exchange program at UVic!" Carolyn Harris on UVic Law exchange from Sydney, Australia

Luke Woulfe view from Mt Doug Spring 2017

Luke Woulfe ('17) on exchange at UVic: view of Victoria from Mt. Doug

“My exchange to the University of Victoria offered me the chance to experience graduate level North American law school from the perspective of an undergraduate European law student. I can safely say that the experience has allowed me to push my limits and broaden my educational horizons further than I could ever have imagined through truly unique courses such as law and religion, the law and rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and Canadian Immigration and Citizenship law. The university offers some outstanding extra-curricular activities such as rock climbing, astrophotography and rocketry while being within range of beautiful downtown Victoria, the bustling city of Vancouver and several ski resorts! I reaped the benefit of having studied at an internationally renowned law school with confidence and skills that will no doubt be invaluable to be me in my future legal career.” Luke Woulfe on UVic Law exchange from Limerick, Ireland

van Neirop, Celia on exchange at UVic

Celia van Nierop ('16) on exchange at UVic: Vikes field hockey team player, local scenery & trip on the ferry

"I am Cilia van Nierop from Utrecht, Netherlands.  I decided to apply for an Exchange at UVic because the Faculty of Law had a high standard & they had a competitive Field Hockey team. I lived in Cluster housing on campus & definitely recommend for exchange students to try to stay on campus. Everything is within walking distance & it’s very easy to take a bus downtown. At the beginning of September school started. There was a comprehensive introduction at the Faculty of Law, which was really helpful. If you have questions regarding any matter just email the Faculty of Law and they will definitely help you, don’t hesitate about that! I took four courses & would say that is a perfect amount for exchange students. You will have enough time besides studying to explore the city and do other things.

I played on the Vikes Women’s Field Hockey team. This made my stay even better than I had hoped. With playing for the Vikes, I immediately met 16 Canadian students & really learned how Canadian’s students live their lives. For me, that’s what an exchange is all about.  I would definitely recommend joining some sort of sport group or outside school activity. The Faculty of Law is also doing a good job in mixing up the exchange students with Canadian students. Everybody is very open & the well known ‘lounge’ is a good place to meet people & chill between classes. Furthermore, the Faculty is not too crowded. You will meet & recognize people quickly & everybody is glad to help you with anything. I also had a ‘law buddy’. This is an upper year Law Student who is available for you to ask any questions.

Besides meeting people & the great environment, there are also perfect resources to study. I consider the Law Library very convenient. Everybody really respects the rules & it’s always quiet. Furthermore, there’s always a place available to study. If you are doing a group project it’s really helpful to use the private working group rooms. I was also really happy about the courses I took. To conclude, I had a wonderful stay at UVic. The Faculty of Law is so helpful & if you don’t know for sure which courses you want to take, you can easily switch & try different lectures in the first two weeks." Celia van Nierop on UVic Law exchange from Utrecht ('16)

Utrecht student at UVic Weusthof Nanda

Nanda Weusthof ('15) on exchange at UVic and enjoying a local beach.

"UVic was an amazing experience. When I first got here I didn’t know what I could expect, but my time turned out to be more than I could have hoped for. I expected a term where I had to work hard, figure things out by myself, and hang out in Victoria only. I was wrong. I went to travel the Island with the friends I made. Yes, I had to work hard, but considering all the wonderful things I got to do it was more than worth it. The people were kind, and taught me how to work with the Canadian law. Everyone was very helpful, it would have been a lot harder without the given support.  I went to join the UVic Quidditch club, and it was awesome, we got to travel to the main land and play quidditch in tournaments. I would most definitely recommend trying to live on campus. You really become part of a community. Even though you might not be first years you are trying to figure out how UVic works. Most people living on campus are first years and looking for friends.  All I can say is that UVic gave me the friends and the experience that I will never forget, and I am very thankful that I got to experience UVic the way I did. "  Nanda Weusthof on Law exchange from University of Utrecht ('15)