"I believe that the international environment, the friends and family that I have got to know while studying, my personal development, and the overall unique experience played determining roles in why I chose IE University. I don’t think I could have received this anywhere else."

Paulina , Latvian and American

Paulina Godynyuk

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Paulina Godynyuk

About me

In brief, I would describe myself as a “citizen of the world,” rather than being defined by one specific country, nationality, or personality. There is no one place that defines who I am or where I am from, but officially, I am Latvian and American. I came to Spain in 2015 to study the Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations. Like many other students at IE University, being a citizen of the world is quite a common phenomenon. Here, you have the opportunity to interact with a wide range of cultures and a variety of backgrounds. Having lived in seven countries before moving to Spain (the US, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine and Portugal) and having the ability to speak three languages (English, Portuguese and Russian), I had endless opportunities to meet wonderful like-minded people at IE University. Entering into my 5th year of studies, I am able to say that my classmates and friends have continued to develop my “citizen of the world” status, giving me an open mind and the ability to adapt to a hugely diverse range of environments.

Paulina Godynyuk , Latvian and American


University Student

What do you value the most about IE University?

I think it would be too simple to say that someone goes to university for the quality of education. In my case, I believe that the international environment, the friends and family that I have got to know while studying, my personal development, and the overall unique experience played determining roles in why I chose IE University. I don’t think I could have received this anywhere else. I worked hard, studied all the materials provided in the program, and listened to my professors and other inspiring professionals. Despite this, it was the people I surrounded myself with that made the experience unique. They are the people who pushed me to achieve my goals, helped me to study, and picked me up when I needed it the most. It is these people who truly enriched my educational experience.

Also, IE university has a huge number of important connections with foreign universities, giving me the opportunity to take part in the exchange program twice and study law and international relations within a global context. For me, this was an important factor which led me to choose IE University. After my 2nd year of studying, I went to EBS Law School in Wiesbaden, Germany, to participate in a summer program for one month. I was able to take highly specific courses which helped me to expand my legal knowledge very early on in my career. My next international opportunity took me to Bocconi University in Milan, where I was selected to study as part of the exchange program for four months. Complementing your studies by studying abroad is an experience that all students should take advantage of.

Which opportunities have you taken advantage of during your time at IE University?

Taking advantage of the programs and facilities provided by IE will help improve your CV and personal development. I haven’t shied away from taking advantage of those opportunities and I have participated in as many activities as I could have. Some of the activities that I took part in are listed below:

  • Studied French and Spanish at IE
  • Took part in the European Legal History Challenge, Commercial law challenge, EU law challenge and TFF (Thought for Food) Challenge supported by IE
  • Completed two international exchange programs
  • Participated in the IE Legal Clinic
  • Joined the Volleyball, Basketball, and Art Club
  • Lead IEU Law Society
  • Participated in additional seminars
  • Took the role of an IE Ambassador
  • Took the role of class representative
  • Completed two internships in summer with the help of the careers department

Why did you decide to study Law at IE?

At 17, I had to make—what seemed to me at the time—the biggest decision of my life. This would determine what I would do for my entire future. This concept scared me and I was very indecisive regarding what I would pursue. Originally, I thought I was going to follow an artistic path and become a fine artist. However, something in the back of my mind pushed me towards pursuing a legal career. So, I thought I should find an environment that would accept and welcome all my qualities. That place happened to be IE University. I wanted a different experience in comparison to what my friends in high school were doing. They had set their mind on studying in England and following a traditional three-year program, sitting in grand lecture halls simply absorbing information. I wanted to be an active member of my university, have smaller and more interactive classes, and study something that wouldn’t necessarily determine what I would do for the rest of my life. Then I found the Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations, where I could do exactly that. I found a university that provided education in English, a general overview of international relations and law, and an almost one-to-one experience with professors. With the comparative law program, I no longer had to commit myself to one jurisdiction and I am now prepared to work in a range of international environments.

Could you describe IEU Law Society at IE.

IE Law Society was my pride and joy during my studies in Segovia. I attended an introductory event in my first year, which at the time was being led by Gracia Pujadas Morales. From then on, I knew I wanted to be part of a team who put theory into practice. By my second year, I became a team leader and I helped move the club forward by developing seminars, excursions, information sessions, and bringing guest speakers who would share their knowledge to law students. The aim was to provide additional information to that taught in class. IE Law Society listened to the students who pointed out the gaps in their education, and together we worked to fill in those gaps. If students wanted to know what it was like to be a practicing lawyer, we would invite a guest to offer us that information. Another example is having invited a guest lecturer to explain the legal consequences of Catalonia’s separation from Spain or what the legal implications were of the EU ending roaming charges. This club is mainly offered to law students; however, it was open to all students at the university. I am very pleased that the law society was able to make a difference in some of the students’ university experiences, and the club will definitely continue to grow and develop new events as the years go on.

You can follow our page on Facebook to see what events are coming up: www.facebook.com/IElawsoc/

If you are working or taking part in an internship, how do you feel that the preparation from IE has helped you to develop professionally?

I definitely feel more prepared to take part in internships and enter the working environment due to my experience at IE University. The unplugged courses at IE have helped me to prepare my presentation skills and my public speaking skills (which came in handy during meetings). In addition, my traditional legal courses have given me the knowledge to know how to solve any legal challenges presented at work.

Why would you recommend someone to study a Dual Degree at IE?

I would definitely recommend that anyone who is passionate about studying and striving to be his or her best self to study a dual degree at IE. Yes, it is more work, but the challenge is also fun and exciting. Having studied the Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations, I have been able to observe how the two areas are heavily intertwined, and I could not have imagined studying one without the other. The best part of the comparative law program at IE is the fact that you get to learn about several legal jurisdictions and teach others about your own legal jurisdiction. Not only do you come to IE to learn, but also to share the knowledge you have acquired. I am now more prepared to think creatively and I’m definitely prepared to work in international environments.

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