Internationalization at Home
Activities to develop international skills and competencies
In pursuit of excellence in education and research, Bucerius Law School challenges its students, staff and academic faculty alike to foster global competencies and engage in projects that encourage cross-cultural exchange and the promotion of foreign language skills.
- Applicants to the undergraduate program must demonstrate a high level of English proficiency in order to be accepted. Building upon this foundation, mandatory legal English modules such as Contract Drafting and Anglo-American Law provide the linguistic skills necessary for work in trans-national practice.
- Beyond the development of strong English skills, the Bucerius Foreign Language Program offers legal language courses in French and Spanish as well as language courses in Russian and Mandarin to provide the training needed for practice on a global scale.
- Several English-taught courses offered to incoming international exchange students from Bucerius partner universities are cross-listed for LLB students. Bucerius students are thus able to follow coursework with guest lecturers and engage in group work and final projects involving peers from across the globe.
In developing its curricula, Bucerius policymakers have taken steps to ensure that students not only acquire foreign language skills, but also have an ability to put them to use in a practical context.
In the 7th trimester, all undergraduate students take part in a term abroad at one of the law school's partner universities. Required for graduation, the opportunity is designed to promote in-depth understanding of a foreign legal system while simultaneously boosting foreign language skills.
Undergraduate students are also required to conduct an internship; many make use of the law school's international network to pursue this endeavor abroad.
- Mooting Competitions: Coached by faculty members, Bucerius students regularly participate and place in national and international events such as the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and Jessup Moot Court. The Bucerius community was especially proud of the 2017 team for having won the Oxford International Intellectual Property Law Moot. (More about participation in mooting competitions)
- Model United Nations: Simulating the United Nations and its committees, including the Security Council, General Assembly and diverse sub-committees, students act as delegates to debate worldwide issues, negotiate compromises and pass resolutions.
- Law Clinic: The Law School established a clinic to support individuals with limited access to high quality legal counsel due to their financial or personal situation. The advisory activity focuses on social justice, immigration law, family law and labor law. With international students from the exchange and MLB programs engaging as interpreters, it is often possible to conduct advisory sessions in a client's native language. (More about the Law Clinic)
- Bucerius hilft (Bucerius Helps): Committed to supporting refugees in Hamburg, students established this initiative to provide unbureaucratic, hands-on and sustainable assistance tailored to the interests and needs of this population. Family-friendly gatherings, activities for children, language courses and other forms of programming are regularly organized through the initiative.
- We.Inform. was launched by Bucerius students and alumni in October 2015. The mission of the project is to offer information about the various support services that exist in Hamburg and provide answers to key questions facing refugees in the Greater Hamburg area. To support its goal, a multi-lingual information portal was established to provide details about asylum, health and medical issues and leisure activities. Volunteer guides provide personal support at central refugee processing points and, later, at lodging facilities. The project is supported by the Hamburg Ministry of Labour, Social and Family Affairs and Integration (BASFI). (More about We.Inform.)
- From the one-year Master of Law and Business to the international exchange semester, to the intensive three-week summer programs, to visiting scholars and numerous conferences held on campus, Bucerius draws students, scholars and practitioners from across the globe.
- Courses that are cross-listed between programs bring students into conversation with peers from different legal education backgrounds so that they may explore topics from varied perspectives. This proximity to international viewpoints is not limited to an academic setting: participating in extracurricular activities, sports and via a buddy network, students interact constantly and share campus facilities.
2016 saw the launch of the Bucerius Intercultural Competence Pass. In order to obtain the certificate, students must prove that they have gained theoretical knowledge which is reflected in their practical experiences with other cultures. The introduction of the certificate reaffirms the intercultural commitment of Bucerius students and strengthens the exchange between German and international students, both on and off campus.
A prerequisite for obtaining the certificate is the examination of interculturalism in theory and practice. In addition to practical international experiences—particularly through study and internships conducted abroad—this also includes participation in workshops on intercultural theory, the demonstration of foreign language competencies as well as social commitment in an intercultural context. Demonstrating familiarity with foreign legal systems and cultures is also part of the certificate.
The Bucerius Intercultural Competence Pass is awared by the International Office and the Center for General Studies and Personal Development.
- Foreign language proficiency and intercultural competence among university staff are crucial in developing an international orientation for the Law School. On-campus language coursework, academic and administrative staff mobility programs and participation in professional conferences and workshops offers an opportunity to gain these skills.
- Staff Exchange: The mobility of non-academic staff is intended for professionals in education management who are engaged in shaping and advancing the international profile of their home institutions, supporting international projects and cooperations and working with international and exchange students on a daily basis. Striving for an intensive exchange of ideas based upon the know-how of participants, Bucerius staff members regularly visit partner universities and welcome colleagues to campus. In the past, staff exchanges have taken place with partner institution in Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
Mit Gerd um die Welt
Around the world with Gerd
is a student-run blog (in German) to document the experience of a term spent abroad. Students publish entries to chronicle the wordly travels of Gerd, a plastic mascot named in honor of Gerd Bucerius.
"Bucerius offers legal language training to fulfill its mission of providing practically oriented legal education with an international outlook.
With increased globalization, young lawyers are expected to work across national borders and therefore legal training coupled with language proficiency, is essential to becoming successful."
Director, Foreign Language Program
"Walking through the door on the first day at Bucerius, everyone is already eager to get abroad—and with good reason: a term spent in a foreign country is so much more than a well-earned break from the daily routine of a degree program. Rarely is it possible to gather so many lasting impressions over such a short span of time—people, nature, culture, etc. Studying abroad is an adventure that’s never forgotten. I was hardly back in Hamburg before the wanderlust set in again."
Lucca Katharina Schlager
Class of 2014