Meet: Crystal – exchange student from Singapore

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?

My home university is the Singapore Management University.


How is studying different here?

I think that the nature of the lessons here would be the biggest difference. Bucerius Law School offers courses that are not normally offered by my home university, including courses looking at the legal industry and management of law firms, rather than just the content of the law.

This allows for a big picture understanding of the legal industry, something that I would not usually get the opportunity to learn about back home. 

What was your expectation coming to Germany?

I came to Germany with the expectation and intention to slow down my pace of life, experience new things and a new culture, as well as make new friends.


How has your experience abroad changed your view on law?

Coming from a common law background, being able to learn more about the civil law system and EU law through my lessons here in Bucerius Law School was an eye-opening experience. I was intrigued by how differently the legal system here functioned as compared to the system back home. The contributions from my international classmates about their own legal systems has also contributed to my general knowledge and understanding of law on an international level.


What was the biggest change for you when you came here?

Definitely the weather! Singapore is significantly warmer and more humid than Hamburg, as it doesn’t have four seasons (it’s hot all year round). When I first came here, I thus had some trouble adapting to the cold - this was despite the locals saying it was already warmer than usual! 


What has been the biggest personal challenge for you in your career?

I think my biggest personal challenge so far has been striking a balance between work, family and friends, as well as my personal wellbeing. As there are only 24 hours in a day, I often find myself struggling to juggle between these three aspects of life that are equally important to me. 


What distinguishes Hamburg from Singapore the most? 

To me, everything is a lot quieter in Hamburg. Singapore is always bustling, even at night. In fact, I was really surprised to find out that shops in Hamburg close much earlier than in Singapore, and that supermarkets were even closed on Sundays here. The tranquil environment of Hamburg was a distinct contrast to what I was used to in Singapore, so this has been truly a new experience that allowed me to take a breather from the bustling city life back home.


Crystal, thanks for the interview. 


Emma Schimmel