Gwyneth Quek

The university has given me the gateway to a life in the Netherlands and as they say, the rest is history.

Gwyneth Quek

Alumna International Trade Law 2018-2019

Why a master? Why the Netherlands? Why International Trade Law at Erasmus University of Rotterdam? These are simple questions with difficult answers.  

In 2018, I was working as a lawyer in Singapore specialising in international trade and insolvency disputes. As the nature of my practice surrounded commercial contracts, trade finance and carriage of goods, I was keen on advancing my knowledge in this area of law. A part of me was also yearning to go back to my student days of having the academic freedom to read and learn about a topic without the crushing pressure of billable hours. Doing a masters in international trade law was therefore an attractive option to achieve both my academic and career aspirations. Sometime in June I was granted the Excellence Scholarship for non-EEA students by the university, which covered a large part of my international student tuition fees. With the golden ticket in hand, I packed my bags for Rotterdam.

Did the master live up to my expectations? Generally, yes. As the master programme was spread across 5 blocks over the academic year, there was balance between work and play. Apart from the graded assignments, you have the freedom to plan your schedule and the flexibility to choose an elective of your interest in one of the blocks. The students are diverse and there are plenty of opportunities to excel. While there is a focus on independent learning, the faculty also has experienced professors who are passionate and knowledgeable on maritime, shipping and international trade law. If you have an interest in this area of law, you would be hard-pressed to find a better university in Europe to do your masters.

The Netherlands is a beautiful country and English is widely spoken. Like Amsterdam, Rotterdam is teeming with life and has a strong international presence. The city is a beautiful sight to behold - a combination of modern architecture with the rustic charm of buildings from the past. Cocktail in hand at a rooftop bar while admiring the city lights over the meandering Maas on a Friday night? Check. Beer with friends in an underground grimy bar? Also check. New and old. Clean and rough. There is a place for everyone in Rotterdam.

So what can you do with this masters? I have classmates who went into various industries like banking as well as oil and gas. As for me, I am happy to be working as a Transaction Lawyer at Loyens & Loeff. The university has given me the gateway to a life in the Netherlands and as they say, the rest is history.

 Curious to learn more? Find me on LinkedIn!

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