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Student Profile: John Reynold Valdez Torrez

Course:JVT

LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights

Study Dates:

2018- 2019

How did you find out about Warwick?

I discovered Warwick in my search for master programmes in Human Rights. First through an online platform called LLM Guide. After narrowing my search down, I looked at universities in relation to the World and UK rankings of the Times Higher Education (THE). I found out that Warwick was among the top 10 universities in the UK.

Did you consider applying anywhere else? What made you choose Warwick?

I considered other options outside the UK. The Central European University in Hungary and the Lund University in Sweden. I had offers from other two universities in the UK, the University of Nottingham and the University of Leeds, but I accepted Warwick’s offer. Most of my friends studied at universities in the US, Latin America and France. I have also friends that studied in UK universities, such as the University of Surrey and the University of Bristol.

I always pursued the dream of doing a Master of Laws abroad after completing my Bachelor’s degree in Bolivia. My two job experiences, in the field of human rights in the Ministry of Justice and Institutional Transparency, and the State General Attorney Office in Bolivia. The range of masters available for my intended field of specialisation were broad, making it challenging to decide.

I tried to narrow my search by focusing on programmes offered by world top universities. During this process I discovered the program offered by the University of Warwick. I started to dig more deeply into the modules offered and the professors involved in my course. I was interested by the programme’s approach to the concept of human rights and the consideration of the contemporary global issues affecting developing countries. Both aspects influenced my final decision of Warwick as my desired academic destination.

How was the application process?

I did my application online. The online platform was user friendly and had well planned information. This allowed me to submit my application with no difficulties.

Have you received any funding?

Yes, from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK, through the Chevening Scholarships. The Scholarship gathers future leaders and influencers from almost 160 countries in the world.

How was your arrival? What were your first impressions of campus?

The campus was full of life with people moving from one place to another to take part in the several Welcome Week events. My first impression was the friendly attitude of staff and students. They helped by providing some useful information about the university services and facilities. I felt a bit overwhelmed with the activities that were taking place at the same time all around campus, but I enjoyed the experience. It introduced me to a new kind of academic environment that challenged my previous ideas studying abroad.

What is the best thing about studying at Warwick?

It is difficult to pinpoint a single element. Warwick offers a full range of enriching experiences for undergraduate and postgraduate students. The university provides plenty of opportunities for developing your talents and skills. It endeavours to create new spaces to make the most of your university life. However, one of the things that I value the most about Warwick is the open class environment that it provides. Professors hold open discussions with students based on mutual respect and understanding, ultimately enriching the debates around the contemporary content addressed in class. This gives added value to the high quality education provided in the Masters.

How is your accommodation?

My accommodation is on campus. I am able to easily go to my classes, the library, and the different facilities around campus, which hold a diverse range of events, such as workshops, recreational activities and academic seminars. I also enjoy the location of my accommodation because it is located near several green spaces.

Have you joined any clubs or societies?

I am part of the Law Society. They organise several events for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Law. I have also joined programmes through Warwick Volunteers. These have included helping homeless people, and conserving the green spaces around the West Midlands area.

Have you managed to travel at all during your studies?

Coventry is in one of the central areas of England which gives access to several other regions of the UK. Transportation can be easier and cheaper compared to other locations. Since the beginning of my master programme, I have had the opportunity to visit at least 8 cities in the United Kingdom. I am still looking forward to travelling to other regions.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I plan to come back to Bolivia to work either at the public sector, NGOs or any international organisation. I want to develop public policies. I also wish to carry out projects focused on rule of law promotion and/or environmental sustainability. I am interested in taking part in, or helping to establish, inclusive platforms for the involvement of young Bolivians in the pressing issues affecting Bolivia, to promote their political and social involvement as alternative to conventional forms of governance and democratic processes in the country.

What makes you happiest about being a student at Warwick?

Warwick is well known for its multicultural environment. It gives you the chance to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures, which changes your perception of the world.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying?

Think outside the box. From my experience I could say that students can take decisions on their future career based on job supply or assumptions over specialisation programmes. In fact, some of the careers that are pursued by young students are massively oversupplied, making it harder to find a job. Other students regret undertaking certain degrees because they find the content different to what they expected.

Forget about the current stereotypes surrounding the most famous careers or conventional Masters degrees. Take a decision based upon your preferences, former experiences, and a well-informed search. You may be missing important opportunities just because they involve taking non-conventional paths. However, if history has shown us something, it is that change and innovation is driven by individuals that break the status quo and come up with ideas that are not the generally accepted ones. Try to take the same approach when deciding over your future.