Prospective Students

International Exchange Program

A rewarding semester abroad

Get a taste of German culture in the beautiful city of Hamburg while making friends from all over the world! Open exclusively to students from Bucerius partner universities, the Exchange Program has an academic focus on International and Comparative Business Law. It gives you the opportunity to obtain a Certificate in Management and Leadership for Lawyers from Germany’s leading law school. Is your university not a partner of Bucerius Law School? Join us as a Visiting Student!

The program is designed to support law students wishing to broaden their understanding of the forces shaping international business law.

Program participants work closely with academics and experienced practitioners to gain insight into legal practice and explore current topics within German, European and transnational frameworks.

Academic rigor is paired with a wide range of extracurricular offerings and an optional trip to Berlin and Potsdam to ensure that the term abroad supports growth and exploration both in and outside of the classroom.

A benefit of life in Germany’s second-largest city, participants have a wealth of excursions, lectures and special receptions to round out their stay.

All courses are taught in English and carefully selected to promote the program’s focus on international and comparative business law.

Download Course List 2015 (pdf)

Courses are taught by Bucerius professors, visiting international lecturers and legal practitioners. Instruction follows the Socratic Method, meaning that course meetings rely upon active student participation, rather than formal lecturing. This interactive environment enables students and lecturers from around the world to explore current issues in international and comparative law from different legal and cultural perspectives.

Provided sufficient German language skills, exchange students may audit or follow German-taught LL.B. courses for credit. The fall trimester at Bucerius begins in late September; exchange students will be able to view a listing of German-taught courses after arrival to Hamburg and discuss this opportunity during the orientation program.

Master of Law and Business courses are not available to exchange program participants.

For law students nearing the end of their study programs, the Bucerius International Exchange curriculum provides numerous professional development opportunities and a range of services to support a transition into the workforce:

  • The 2015 program will include workshops with prominent law firms and consultancies, as well as a networking event with practitioners to discuss opportunities for global engagement in legal practice. The Director of Career Services will host an information session and offer one-on-one counseling (including review and critique of application materials) to support individuals considering employment in Germany.

  • Exchange students will receive networking opportunities with MLB/LLM program participants, many of whom have gone on to found successful international start-ups.

  • Within the classroom, the program focuses on international and comparative business law and brings together lecturers and participants from diverse academic and legal backgrounds; in doing this, it seeks to promote discussion and encourage comparative review of theory to prepare individuals for international careers and employment necessitating global competencies.

  • Further linking theory to practice, several courses are taught by practitioners (e.g. Corporate Governance, International Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Mediation).  Participants seeking an additional challenge can opt to pursue a Certificate in Leadership and Management (see below) with the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession.

Employers today expect law school graduates to possess skillsets that extend beyond textbook knowledge.

Exchange program participants can opt to enroll in a module of specialized courses intertwining law, economics and management to earn a Certificate in Management and Leadership for Lawyers from the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession.

In order to earn the Certificate, students must participate in courses such as Business Mediation, Negotiation or Contract Drafting.

The method for calculating credits is based upon American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines; transcripts are issued to reflect both European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points and the equivalent number of ABA credits. Courses are worth either 2 or 4 ECTS points, equivalent to 1 or 2 ABA credits.

All students will be enrolled in the course “Introduction to German Law” and must follow this course for credit; this is the only mandatory course in the exchange program.

In addition to the Introduction to German Law course, students must pursue a minimum of 8 ECTS points per session (equivalent to 4 ABA credits). Additional coursework may be undertaken as an auditor or for credit to support a student’s interests or home university requirements. There is no maximum number of credits; baring schedule overlaps, exchange students may enroll in as many courses as they are interested in following.

Prior to undertaking an exchange at Bucerius, all students are encouraged to speak with their home university regarding credit transfer policies.  A student’s home university will determine how many and which credits and/or grades may be transferred based upon status and degree program.

Courses are generally evaluated based upon performance on exams, final projects and/or presentations.

Regular attendance and active participation is required in all courses.

The exchange semester is divided into two sessions with a one-week break between them.  Each session is comprised of a six-week lecture period that is followed immediately by a one-week exam period.

Download Academic Calendar 2015

During lecture periods, courses are held five days a week, usually between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  A tentative schedule will be published in July before the course registration window opens.

A handful of courses will meet over both the first and second lecture periods with exams held in December, at the end of the exchange term.  Most courses will be condensed into a three- or four-week block of time during one of the two lecture periods.

As several topics are taught by visiting professors who are in Hamburg only for a brief stay, courses tend to be staggered over multiple days, rather than meeting at regular intervals, e.g. “Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.”

To offer a break from coursework and time spent in the library, sign up for a range of activities that are offered at no cost during the fall trimester.

In the first weeks, take advantage of late summer sunshine and warm evenings to explore the city – a curated walk around the warehouse district and waterfront, private bus tour and boat trip around the lake and canals will provide a perfect introduction to your new surroundings.

Once settled, get a taste of Northern Germany with guided outings to the Hanseatic cities of Lübeck and Lüneburg. As the leaves change color and crisp autumn days arrive, explore Hamburg’s gallery and museum scene with guided tours and enjoy cinema evenings with German films screened with English subtitles.

Late November brings the opening of Christmas Markets and an opportunity to take part in a very German tradition with your Bucerius buddy family:  Sip hot cider or spiced wine and snack on ginger cookies and roasted almonds while strolling around the historic downtown illuminated by countless Christmas lights!

Receptions, guest lectures and celebrations organized by German student groups round out programming.

Looking for a way to pass the week-long break between sessions? Take part in an excursion to Berlin and Potsdam that’s organized by the International Office; the trip begins on Monday morning and runs until Friday evening so you have the option to return to Hamburg on Friday night or extend travel for a weekend of sightseeing on your own!

The cost to take part is fixed at € 260 and includes travel to and from the cities, shuttle service to excursions sites while there, accommodation in a centrally located hostel (shared rooms with other Bucerius students and a private bath), a group dinner and drinks on the first night, admission costs and guided tours of five museums, the German Parliament and the New Palace and grounds in Potsdam.

Additional information and a tentative schedule for the coming year’s excursion will be provided in the spring.

As an exchange student you do not pay tuition fee at Bucerius Law School. You may, however, be required to keep paying tuition at your home university. Bucerius also covers the costs for the extracurricular activities included in the program. That leaves the following costs to be considered:

Estimated CostsEUR
Course materials200
Language Course (optional)150
Study trip to Berlin (optional)260
Insurance (health & liability)
Visa/Residence Permit 110
Food, clothes, etc.1,100
Transport and other expenses1,400

Bucerius Law School is proud to offer a total of four need-based scholarships. Two of these scholarships are available to students from Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and two of them are available to students from Victoria University (New Zealand).

Selection of the beneficiaries takes place in April. If you are selected, you will receive the money once you arrive at Bucerius. If you wish to apply for the Bucerius Scholarship, please write a short statement as to why you think you should receive one of our scholarships. Please include if your are currently employed, if you are receiving any form of scholarship or funding, if you have any sources or funds to finance your time in Germany, etc.

The International Exchange Program is open exclusively to students nominated by Bucerius partner universities. Is your university not a partner? Then there is still the possibility to attend Bucerius as a visiting student!

In countries (such as the United States) where law is studied at a graduate level, applicants must have completed at least one year of law school at the time the program begins. In countries (such as Germany) where law is studied at the undergraduate level, applicants must have completed at least two years of their legal education.

Participants are expected to have a good command of English in order to take part in the program. Students who are enrolled in a degree program taught in a language other than English must submit proof of English proficiency.

The minimum requirement to participate in an exchange at Bucerius is:

  • TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT): 90
  • IELTS Academic Program: 7.0
  • CAE: B or CPE: C
  • ILEC

German language skills are not necessary for an exchange to Bucerius, though optional coursework is made available to beginner, intermediate and advanced students of German who would like to improve their language abilities while in the country.

German language coursework can be audited or followed for credit, though credit will not be counted toward the minimum course load requirements detailed above.

“This program offers students a unique opportunity to enhance their legal education and training in an international setting. There are very few legal issues in the business world today that do not have an international dimension. Lawyers can no longer limit themselves to an understanding of domestic law.”

Dr. André Fiebig, Quarles & Brady LLP, Chicago, USA

“This program has been a real eye-opener for me. Coming from a common law system, I find it very interesting to discover how students from a civil law system think. I would definitely recommend students to come to Bucerius because this program is amazing – full stop.”

Lihi, Tel Aviv University, Exchange Student 2014

Fact Sheet

Course DatesSep-Dec 2015
DeadlineApril 15, 2015
Placesca. 110


Programs Coordinator

Sabrina Henning
+49 (0) 40 3 07 06 – 113