The past few days, I have scouting for a master of laws degree in Europe. It has been a long time dream of mine. To travel Europe and to be able to study there. Last year, I was very lucky to be able to go to Vienna for a conference concerning internally displaced persons. I was in charge of drafting a bill on internally displaced persons. In the course of this assignment, I was able to meet several people along the way, including the Representative of the Secretary General for Internally Displaced Persons. It was through this acquaintance that I was able to attend this meeting. I considered this to be my lucky break. Being able to fly to Europe for free! It was my dream come true! And now I want to proceed with my biggest goal this year, to study in Europe.

For the past two years, I have searched the Internet for the perfect course for me. At first, I applied in the Masters in Intellectual Property Law sponsored by the WIPO and the University of Turin in Italy. It really broke my heart when I found out that I was not accepted. What made it worse is that the news reached me the day after my birthday. I cried over spilt milk for days. But now, I realize it was not yet time for me to leave. A lot of things happened last year and I would have missed them all if I left for Turin.

Now because of the Vienna meeting, my priorities have changed. I decided to pursue International Law specializing in Human Rights Law. It had also been a dream for me to work in an international organization like my father. And I figured this is my ticket to be able to land my dream job. Though I may not have all that much experience in this field, neither does the rest of Filipino lawyers. In our present state of affairs, it is now that more advocates dive into this field of Law to protect our countrymen. In my search over the past weeks. I have narrowed down my choices to 3 universities. (1) University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom, for their International Human Rights Law program; (2) University of Groningen, Netherlands, for their Masters in International Law and Law on International Organizations, specializing in Human Rights; (3) University of Utrecht, for their International Law on Human Rights and Criminal Justice. I was also looking at the European Master of Human Rights and Democratization at Lido, Italy. It is not a master of laws program but it looked pretty interesting to me. However, it will be conducted bilingually in French and English. I may have studied French for a large chunk of 2006 but I dont think that will be enough to propel me to understand lectures in French. So despite my interest, I had to let it go.

I hope I get accepted in any of them. Then I will start worrying about how I will finance my studies there. Now, that will be another story altogether.



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