Meet: Christiaan – exchange student from South Africa

Bucerius Law School welcomes exchange students from all over the world to Hamburg each fall while its LLB students study abroad

Education & Study |

What is your home university?

I am visiting from Stellenbosch University.


How is studying different here?

The fact that there are social events at Bucerius every other week. I don’t know if it is only to butter up the international students to convince them to come back for the MLB, but if it is, it’s working!


What were your expectations when you chose Hamburg?

I expected it to be colder on arrival, but those expectations were quite recently met.


What was the biggest change when you came here?

Living alone must have been the biggest change as I have lived in an apartment with four other people for over three years. And just as big a change is having to speak English all the time as my native language is Afrikaans.


Have you been continuing to play hockey while being here?

I actually started playing basketball before leaving for Germany and I joined the Bucerius Basketball Club when I arrived. I met so many amazing students at the club. Definitely the best decision ever!


How is that different to South Africa?

The basketball club at Bucerius was more of a social-playing club where students would communicate who was available to play on a Friday. Whereas at Stellenbosch it was more structured, with a coach and scheduled matches.


What has been the biggest challenge for you in your studies?

My biggest challenge during my studies and even life has definitely been staying focused on what I want to achieve with what I am doing. It is very easy to lose sight of the big picture when faced with everyday challenges that might make you feel like giving up.


What do you want to achieve with your studies?

I went to university to learn how to think, question the status quo and work hard. Currently, my aim is to practice as an attorney, but who knows where these skills will take me!


How is Hamburg different to Stellenbosch?

Hamburg is much bigger than Stellenbosch so it was quite a challenge to get used to using public transport and travelling 30 minutes to campus. In Stellenbosch I had a 2-minute walk to campus, and it’s about a 10-minute drive from one side of town to the other.


Christiaan, thanks for the interview. 


Emma Schimmel