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Class Action - what your ex classmates are up to

Winter term in Toronto, with thanks to the Class of 1986

The Class of ’86 Bennett Lam Scholarship Fund was set up by the Class of 1986, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their graduation, and in memory of their late classmate, Bennett Lam ’86. This year’s Scholarship recipient, Joshua Lai ’11, reports on his student exchange experience in Canada.

I am deeply grateful to the Class of ’86 for having awarded the Bennett Lam Scholarship to me. Coming from a lower-middle income family background, the scholarship has gone a long way in aiding me to fulfill my financial obligations as a law student. I was also able to participate in an overseas student exchange program.

Joshua Lai '11 with other exchange students at the airportI arrived from hot and humid Singapore into the winter cold of Canada on 15 December 2009, about to embark on my Winter term student exchange in Toronto with shivers ... of anticipation and excitement!

The exchange program that I participated in was at Osgoode Hall School of Law in York University. York University is Canada’s third largest university, one and a half hours north from Toronto Downtown area. As I stepped into the campus for the first time, blocks of new buildings, statutes commemorating prominent persons and events greeted me.

Lessons in Osgoode differ from NUS in that it has a smaller Professor-to-student ratio. In particular, for my Jurisprudence class, there were only 5 students. This provides excellent opportunities for everyone to participate in discussions and interaction with the Professors.

Canadian law students are generally more outspoken than their Singaporean counterparts. This may be because law is a postgraduate degree, so law students in Canada are correspondingly more mature in age than their Singaporean counterparts.

One of the other novel experiences I encountered in Osgoode was the ability to use laptops to type out exam answers – one which aided me substantially in formulating my thoughts and completing my examinations!

This exchange experience in Canada has literally and figuratively been a world away from studying in Singapore. In addition to experiencing the novel educational approaches, I was also able to travel around Canada to Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver; and even across the border to New York, USA. The experience has opened my eyes to an entire new world of possibilities and experience.

After graduation, I hope to be able to contribute towards bursaries/scholarships for law students from lower income families; to repay this debt of gratitude I owe to the generous donors to the Bennett Lam Scholarship. I am inspired by the noble spirit of the Class of 1986 in their act of giving. Once again, I express my heartfelt thanks for being selected as a recipient of their generosity.

To find out more about the Class of 1986 Bennett Lam Scholarship, please click here:




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