International students at UC Hastings are creating a stronger student and alumni network globally.
The new student organization, Hastings International Student Association (HISA), plans to help international students facilitate exchanges among past, present and future foreign students. The group also hopes to use legal contacts and connections from members' home countries to connect UC Hastings students to a broader network of resources for internships abroad.
When Philip Horber, an LLM student from Switzerland, came to his colleagues with the idea for the association, it didn’t take long for them to put the plan in motion. “It took only one afternoon to create the bylaws and turn them in for approval,” said Maurice Monnot, an LLM student from Paris, France and one of the founding three members of the group. “We were very motivated.”
UC Hastings has more than 60 international students representing over 20 different countries. HISA members are hopeful that foreign students from both the LLM and JD programs will participate.
“When I was in Greece I was not aware of UC Hastings' existence,” said Vasiliki Kiou, an LLM student from Athens and a founding member of HISA. Kiou learned about the school while visiting friends in California. “UC Hastings is well established here and we wish to build the same reputation outside the United States. To have a really strong network of students could definitely help with that,” she said.
The organization also hopes to improve the well being of international students on campus by smoothing their transition to life in the United States. HISA members say they are creating a website and blog that will assist current and future international students adjust to law school.
Yasaman Anvari, an LLM student from Iran, noted that many international students face the same challenges; housing issues, visa complications and difficulties with course selection. “We want to help LLMs and international students not face the same difficulties as we did; to help them adapt to the system,” said Anvari.
The new organization held their first meeting on April 16th. Around 22 JDs, LLMs, and exchange students attended.
For more information on how to get involved with HISA, email firstname.lastname@example.org.