Hamish - Bucerius Law School

B. Law / Arts
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

Bucerius Law School has created a program that is just for students on exchange. This means most courses relate to international business law or other areas of law that have a trans-national perspective. For example, I studied International Commercial Arbitration and International Conflicts of Law. The courses I enjoyed the most were Environmental Law, Energy Law and EU Law. 

The main challenge was understanding how to approach entirely new sources of law and balancing study with all best bits of exchange: travel, meeting new people and exploring Hamburg. However, I found the standard of assessment in the program far easier than I was expecting. As a result, I managed to fit a huge amount of other activities in.

Personal experience

The absolute best part of my exchange was the friends I have made from all over the world. I have no doubt that I will see them again and they provide a way to explore many other countries from the perspective of a local and not a tourist.

Another favourite part of the exchange was all the different places I could visit. Because it was in effect an enormous holiday, the exchange gave me the lack of stress from study and work to really relax and appreciate new places.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus. While I cannot recommend enough the internal housing market organised by Bucerius, I thought Hamburg was very expensive for rent and I regretted paying so much for my place. It may be worth looking a little harder than me for a better value place.

Budget

Hamburg was expensive in some senses but not in others. Rent was very expensive. However, I found everything else to be cheaper, including food, going out alcohol, and air travel. One of the best things was the free public transport you obtain by being an exchange student at Bucerius. 

It is entirely possible to do on a tight budget but this will probably mean you stay in Hamburg. I spent a lot of money on travel before, after and during the exchange.

Professional development and employability

I managed to fit in so many experiences during my time on exchange that I find I am more relaxed in both professional and private capacities. Further, I have no doubt that many of my fellow exchange students will go on to be highly successful lawyers in their home countries. In today's world I think this will benefit me greatly when I also become a lawyer. 

In a way I think my exchange gave me an opportunity to fully embrace the attributes I already had and understand how best to use them in very different environments. Equally, it was very good at exposing areas of my personality that I need to work on. This means I know how I can continue to improve myself.

Highlight

There are too many to list. As I already mentioned, the friends that you make on exchange is the unique aspect of overseas study that makes it truly invaluable. The Bucerius international program brings together a fantastic group of people and you can be guaranteed that you will do this as well. Another great thing was meeting up with many of my friends I had made at UQ when they were on exchange to Australia! 

How well organised the Bucerius international team is. They were always there to help and planned everything absolutely perfectly. 

Lastly, exchange gave me the opportunity to fulfil some of my own dreams and challenges. These included completing several climbs of the Giro d'Italia and crossing the Alps by myself on my bike. In short, it was everything I hoped it would be!

Top tips

Get the stressful parts over and done with as soon as possible!

The other main top tip would be to not hesitate in applying!