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by Jody Ludbey
Jody Ludbey, Deakin Law Student along with 20 other fellow students traveled to Cork, Ireland to participate in the eLaw Summer Institute program. While education is the rational for the long journey, it is the experience of being abroad and the opportuintiy to be influenced by elite within the profession that has inspired her.
After approximately 35 hours of travel we finally arrived in Cork, all very tired but excited to start the eLaw Summer program. After a bit of adjusting to the nine-hour time difference and the fact sunset wasn't until 10:30pm, we had a chance to explore Cork before the commencement of classes. The city was both beautiful and vibrant (although not on a Sunday morning) and although the rain was quite persistent we were able to venture out and interact with the locals who were extremely friendly.
On Wednesday evening of the first week the faculty put on a reception for the staff and students undertaking the program, which was a fantastic opportunity to meet our fellow classmates from America and Ireland. There were also a number of eminent persons in attendance who addressed us and inspired us to go on and do great things within our profession. After the reception one of our Irish lecturers invited us to one of the local bars to allow us to experience some of the nightlife in Ireland and try some local brews!
Another fantastic aspect of the trip was the ability to travel on weekends and see a bit more of Ireland. A group of us went to places such as Kinsale, Galway and the Cliffs of Moher - some students even went to London and Italy! It was so exciting to get out and see more of Ireland, as it was my first time there and after this experience I definitely want to go back!
As part of the course we were fortunate enough to go to the town of Cobh (pronounced Cove) and have one of our lectures delivered to us on the rooftop of one of the old hotels in the main street. The lecture was predominantly about migration from Ireland to countries such as Australia and America, which was extremely interesting and was complemented by a visit to the Cobh immigration museum.
Most students undertaking the course stayed at Deans Hall and for the Aussies we were all sharing apartments, which proved a lot of fun! We made great friends with some of the American students and regularly went out for dinner to eat some of the amazing food (with lots of potatoes of course!) and to the bars for a few drinks meeting many lovely Irish locals along the way who were happy to recommend another bar or place we should visit on our travels.
Overall the Ireland eLaw Summer Institute was a fantastic experience and one I would highly recommend. The staff and lecturers were lovely, extremely knowledgeable and approachable people who really encouraged us to learn and be excited about the ways in which the law is evolving and the impact that will have on us when we practice. It allowed me to regain my focus for study and re-ignite the passion I have for the law. I also made a lot of new friends who I still keep in contact with and who made the experience in Cork all the better! I strongly encourage anyone who is considering this trip to go as it was an experience of a lifetime and one I will never forget.