Leonie - Bucerius Summer Program

B Science/Laws
July 2019

My experience

I decided to complete a short term experience as I had set a goal for myself to become more independent and to have a greater international mindset. Going overseas to a country I had never been to before was the perfect opportunity to do this, as this would challenge me to try new things and to interact with people from all cultures. Importantly, I have always been interested in Intellectual Property Law, but there is no such course offered at UQ (only Copyright Law). When I found out that International IP Transactions was offered at Bucerius Law School, I knew I had to go!

How has the experience changed you?

Although this experience was short, it has truly allowed me to develop in so many ways. I was able to develop personally by becoming more independent through living away from my family. I was also able to better appreciate the cultures of people from all sorts of backgrounds, as there were people from 40 different nationalities in the Summer Program. The fact that my course had so many negotiations workshops meant that I was constantly working in groups with different people and learning a bit about everyone, whether it be about their home town, their work style, or their aspirations. 

Professionally, I was able to build so many networks with people within not only my course, but in the Business Law course as well. It was amazing being able to connect with people at different stages of their career, especially within the International IP course as many law students had previously been engineers who then decided to study law after being involved with patent work. I absolutely loved being meeting people that were also from Law/Science backgrounds, as this is much less common in Brisbane.

Academically, this course was exactly the content I wanted to study. It covered IP Law broadly, covering trademarks, copyright, patents, and trade secrets as well as practical aspects of drafting up IP licence agreements. I loved that the course provided such practical knowledge for factors to consider when negotiating licence agreements, and the fact that it was from an international perspective. This meant that I was exposed to both US and EU law. The course has confirmed my interest in IP law, and it makes me want to start a career in IP law more than ever.

Favourite memory

It’s hard to pinpoint my favourite memory as there as simply too many! Overall it would just have to be all the times everyone from the Legal Tech, Business Law and IP Law courses hung out together at bars and had a good laugh. However, I think the graduation ceremony was definitely the most touching memory as everyone cheered and clapped wildly whenever someone’s name was announced. Taking the group photos in front of Bucerius Law School after was so wholesome as everyone had become so close after three weeks together. I will never forget the friendships I have made, and I am so grateful to Bucerius Law School for really making an effort to organise social events for everyone in the Summer Program.

Top tips

My tip would be to just make the most out of every opportunity you have while on exchange. Explore every part of Hamburg you can because it is an absolutely beautiful city, and also be daring enough to meet new friends – even if they aren’t from your specific course! Amongst all the fun and laughter, also pay attention in class as there is so much great material that is offered by the school. Three weeks is a short time, but you can make lifelong friendships and professional networks if you go in with an open mind.