Firdaus Mohandas came to St John’s to read Law in 2018; he is now studying for the BCL (Bachelor in Civil Law). Firdaus, together with Emily Zhao, was a member of the Oxford University team for the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2019–20, the world’s largest moot court competition and an activity that involves discussion and collaboration. Firdaus and Emily reached the grand final of the UKleg of the competition, qualifying for the internationals. There, they won the Alona Evans Award for their written submissions, though the oral rounds were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Firdaus Mohandas.jpg

I’m not sure I have very much to say about the portrait, except for the fact that it was my first time being formally photographed and to thank College for coming up with this initiative. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at St Johns, and it is an honour to be up on its walls even after I am no longer around. Despite the stark cultural (and climate-related) differences I faced when first arriving in the UK from India, I found it surprisingly easy to adjust to life in College, and its welcoming atmosphere was a huge factor in that. I hope that the ‘Celebrating Diversity’ portraits, and the various other measures College adopts, make settling in here an even smoother experience for students in the future. No matter what the circumstances are like outside the confines of St Giles, it is vital for students from all backgrounds to have a place they know can truly belong to.