Alumni Spotlight: Linnea Schuster

Linnea G. Schuster is a student at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She spent the fall of 2016 studying abroad at Bucerius Law School, and was granted the German Benevolent Society of Honolulu Scholarship through the Bucerius Global Legacy Fund. In the interview below, you can read about Linnea’s time in Hamburg and her experiences at Bucerius Law School as an international student.

Why did you choose to study abroad?
I enjoyed Germany when I visited in the summer of 2014 and I knew it would be hard to do another extended visit once I finished law school.

That makes a lot of sense. Why did you choose Germany over the other program options?
There are more opportunities to study in Asia at my school, but I already spent a summer in Tokyo during high school. I wanted to diversify my international education and also explore my German heritage.

Do you have any tips for other law students who are considering studying abroad?
I would recommend going abroad during your third year at law school because I hadn’t had Constitutional Law yet and I didn’t have any business background. So I recommend getting your footing with all the basic American law so you can have a richer experience with the comparative stuff once you get to Bucerius.

Any academic experiences that you’d recommend at Bucerius Law School?
I took Comparative Intellectual Property with Professor Beldiman and it was one of my favorite classes I’d ever taken in law school. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a great class.

What experiences outside of school during your time abroad stand out in your mind?
I joined a book club that visited the local refugee camp in Stellingen. We selected English language literature to read with the refugees since many of them speak English but not German. The purpose was to meet people and create opportunities for intellectual activities. I remember meeting lots of people who had been professionals in their home country but were starting over in Germany. It stuck me how difficult of a time I would have trying to start over in Germany since I have almost zero German language skills and even my legal background would have limited utility.

It sounds like you had some fairly unique opportunities! Do you feel like any of it changed you in any way?
Yes. This was my first extended trip abroad by myself. Other times I was always with a friend who was a local, a school group, or my trip only lasted a few days. Being and living on my own in a new city developed my sense of independence, resourcefulness, and composure in times of stress. I also got much better at cooking!

We’d like to thank Linnea Schuster for sharing her insights with the American Friends of Bucerius! This article is an excerpt of an interview they held with Linnea as part of a new American Friends of Bucerius podcast series. If you’re interested in hearing more about her and other BLS alumni experiences, stay tuned for their upcoming podcast.