Update from 2018 - 2019 Franklin Thomas Fellow in Pennsylvania
Tebogo Moloko, our 2018 - 2019 Frankin Thomas Fellow, reports on his first few months at U-Penn where he is studying towards a Masters of Law.
My first two and a half months at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) have been exceptionally enjoyable as well as an eye-opening experience. I quickly acclimatized to the environment and I have generally felt welcome in the friendly city of Philadelphia and at Penn.
What has stood out for me academically at Penn has been the great expertise of the lecturers at the university, many of whom are the very best in their fields and it is wonderful to have such an opportunity to learn from them. The lecturers engage with the students’ thoughts on issues, and as a student, one is expected to be prepared to answer questions and truly immerse oneself in the content and understand the material. This approach has encouraged me to be bolder in answering questions and engaging with lecturers on the material and has empowered me to be more confident in speaking about the material in front of my peers and with the lecturer. This approach I believe is quite crucial in my development as a lawyer because I am constantly required to articulate my ideas confidently and assertively. Furthermore, the flexibility of the LLM program and a wide range of courses has allowed me to choose courses that I truly enjoy and courses which I believe will add value to my life professionally and otherwise. This, in my view, has added to the quality and enjoyment of my academic experience.
Outside of the academics, what has stood out for me has been the ease of networking in Philadelphia and at Penn. There are many organizations that are established to ensure that International students feel welcome and can easily network to meet people. This has helped me make new connections with people from various parts of the world. As a result, I have had a better understanding of the landscape of the city and the American culture. I have truly made great networks and I have a wonderful mentor. I hope the networks I have made will continue to develop as the academic year continues.
The Franklin Thomas Fellowship has enabled me to attend one of the best Ivy League Universities in the world, namely the University of Pennsylvania, where I have received an education of the highest quality. I have also been exposed to unparalleled opportunities for my professional and personal development during my studies.