In this edition of "Meet our Kuadrilla" we spotlight Deborah Kim from Brisbane, Australia and James Campbell, from Glasgow, Scotland. While their respective thesis topics couldn't be more different within the socio-legal field, they both approached the master's looking for a new and challenging way to understand the law. Check out what they have to say below!
James: I grew up in Glasgow, lived in London, and came to Oñati from there ... the size is very different but the community life, the way people are ... people have a good life here. They are generally pretty happy. They live life well. I'll miss the community feeling, there's nothing like this when I'm from.
Deb: I have lived in a big city most of my life and never lived in a town this small. This will probably remain a very unique experience and the community really grew on me. The Basque people are soft at heart!
James: Incredibly generous. What made you decide to leave everything in Australia to come here?
Deb: I was recommended this program as a leading socio-legal institute with a strong research focus, as well as opportunities to meet scholars from all over the world.
James: The sacrifice was worth it?
Deb: By coming here and engaging with the program, I have gained a broader, more diverse perspective on many things I thought I knew to be true. It's made me question and re-analyze a lot of my pre-existing beliefs and attitudes! How about you?
James: I wanted to do a specialist masters in the area that I enjoy working in, scholarly wise. I also wanted to come to the town! Strangely, I fell in love with the town through pictures before I came to Oñati ... it's an amazing place, an unbelievably cool combination of the study side of things and the experience …
Deb: Did you engage with the Basque life a lot?
James: I perhaps engaged too much! I enjoyed it. Met a lot of lovely people and had a lot of fun times. I think I did. Would you do anything differently?
Deb: Since I came here without knowing much about the town and the Institute, I feel like I let a lot of opportunities to engage in the Basque local life slip by. Yes, I don't speak Spanish, but I wish I had been more adventurous in the beginning and taken advantage of all of that. Would you change anything?
James: No, I don't think so. In retrospect, I just about got the balance right. You want to get the most out of the people, the professors, the visiting scholars, but you also want to do your own work and have fun. I probably would have wanted to see more of the Basque country, the small towns. And being able to communicate …
Deb: I'm still not a very good Spanish communicator.
James: I can order a coffee.
Deb: I can order a coffee … and pastries! A few of us also took Basque lessons at the beginning of the semester which was fun and I think the people here really appreciated the attempt to speak to them in Basque.
James: That's challenging though because you can "Kafe esne bat" but then they respond and….
Deb: I'll miss the people that I got to know.
James: I'm quite nearby ... relatively speaking.
Deb: Can't say the same for myself!