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Perseverance brings academic success

Most people have a special talent of some kind, whether in the field of international cooperation or maybe law, but may not have the chance to develop their talents, while others climb the ladder through further education.
But few people choose to study international law because this subject is very difficult.
However, Mr Detsada  Soukhaseum, a former personal assistant to the CEO of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat in Laos, is an exception and has surprised everyone with his success.
He gained a Grade A in the first international law programme to be offered at the National University of Laos and received                                                        his certificate last week. There were 15 Lao students in the programme, which was

President of the National University of Laos Prof. Dr Somsy Gnophanxay (right) presents a Master’s degree certificate to Mr Detsada Soukhaseum.  

taught jointly by specialists from Laos and France.
Mr Detsada has knowledge of both English and French, as well as experience in the field of international cooperation. His abilities resulted in him receiving a double diploma in international law, in both Lao and French, awarded by the National University of Laos and France’s University Jean Moulin-Lyon III. The course was taught from 2014-2016.
Vientiane Times asked Mr Detsada about his study methods and suggestions for other students.   
Q:   How does one become an outstanding student?
A: It takes not only talent but also courage to face up to the problems you will encounter as well as the new experiences you must grapple with.
Q:  How did you learn about this particular Master’s degree?
 A: I read about it the newspaper and NUOL’s online information site. The programme didn’t involve an exam but the diploma course provided students with specialised training in international law. Participants were required to have a strong knowledge of either English or French.
Q: How did you become so knowledgeable about international law?
A: I always noted down the important points of every lesson and went over them when I got home to make sure I understood everything. I also studied other literature on law after finishing school every day to further boost my knowledge.
Q: Did you have any experience in international law?
A: I have a lot of experience in law. After finishing secondary school in Vientiane I went to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1988.
From 1991 to 1995, I did a bachelor degree in foreign languages in France, then from 1999 to 2004 I worked at the Lao Embassy to France. In 2004, I returned to                                         Laos and worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2009.
I completed a master’s level course in language translation in Australia in 2006, financed by a scholarship from the Australian government.
Q: Do you have experience in international cooperation?
A: I have attended many international cooperation conferences both in Laos and abroad.
Q: Why do you find law so interesting?
A: I’ve always been interested in this field. I find it quite easy to understand and I enjoy it. Funnily enough, I find other subjects quite difficult.  
Q: Do you have any suggestions for other students intending to study law?
A: I think every subject is important, not only law. If you want to be successful, take as many notes as possible in class and go over them when you get home. And be prepared to accept new ideas and experiences from other people because knowledge doesn’t only come from books. A lot of what you learn comes from discussions.
It’s best to focus on a subject you enjoy, because you are more likely to succeed and give it your full attention. If you enjoy and are interested in a particular subject you will spend more time learning more about it.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth 
(Latest Update May 13, 2017 )

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