Graduate Student Representative——Open Letter to 2020 International Students
Date:2020-10-21     Read:183    

Dear fellow Students, Colleagues, Professors and esteemed academics,

I hope this letter finds you well and that you are all keeping safe during these uncertain times.

2020 is a year that no one could have predicted, it has affected some more than others but it has impacted all of us here at KoGuan Law School. However, having said that, I am thankful that it has done nothing to dampen our collective enthusiasm, courage, love of learning and pursuit of academia.

We are located all over the world but we are a part of one, united body, at Koguan Law School. If you are anything like me, adjusting to online zoom lectures, schedules that run into the early morning, presentations with groups in different continents and working on thesis defence at a distance are all part of the same challenge that 2020 has brought.

No doubt, adjusting to the online teaching has brought with it its own challenges, but it is a solution to our problems so far, and whilst it doesn’t replace the phenomenal experience of being present in a law school lecture that oozes ethos and learning, it is certainly a welcome opportunity during these times. Thus, on behalf of the student body, I want to thank the amazing tutors and lecturers, support staff and others that make this all possible, for, without their continued perseverance, this eventuality would not come to pass.

Yet, there is more than that, I want to thank you, my fellow classmates, academics, lawyers and friends, we are all in this together. You have not let distance, nor time, stop you from pursuing a world-class education at the law school that is at the cutting-edge of legal education in China. It is no easy task studying foreign law, studying foreign culture, studying a foreign language, especially one so difficult as Mandarin. You continue to show the world your excellence, and I am happy that we can all share in the Jiao Tong Experience.

Some of us are balancing internships, work, professional stresses with our studies, some are taking care of loved ones, supporting family, some are writing books, researching, becoming global thought leaders, but all of us are excelling.

I am looking forward to the day when we can all meet again, and enjoy the delights of Shanghai life. For some, that delight comes from a morning coffee whilst taking in the sights of the Bund in the magical city of Shanghai, for others it is sharing a hot pot with local friends, for many it is being able to return to our academic home at the Law School. For those of you who have just started your journey in China, I hope that the roads are smooth, the people are friendly, that your thesis papers can write themselves and that you can get out and enjoy life as a prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong University Law Student.

For those who are nearing the next step of their journey, I hope that the future is kind, that your last few months are filled with happy memories, that your defense went flawlessly and that the friends you made here last a life time.

Making the decision to learn Chinese law, is one that I know will be seen as one of the best choices you have ever made. And I hope that, when this is all sorted, and we can finally get our return visas, we can all meet again, like we all used to, debating, arguing and partaking in academic and professional life. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

And so for now, to keep things short and sweet, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe time for the remainder of 2020, and that things can return to normal soon. Good luck with your studies, good luck with work, good luck for now.

It has been a pleasure.

Liam Lambert 李奥

Graduate Student Representative.