Meet: Lourdes – exchange student from Argentinia

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 University of Buenos Aires.


How is studying different here?

In my opinion, one of the main differences is the small size of Bucerius Law School. A positive consequence of this is that it allows for better organization and communication with the authorities, staff and other students.

It also allows for the organization of events and availability of common spaces, like the pool table room for example, which overall gives the Bucerius Law School a very family-like environment. 

However, as a larger university I find that the University of Buenos Aires gives students more independence and autonomy when it comes to the choice of courses, professors and extracurricular activities. For instance, it is far easier for students to work and study simultaneously. 

Why are you interested in Human and women’s rights?

I don't think I can pinpoint a specific set of reasons, but I know that it's always been a topic I was interested in, initially on a personal level but eventually also at an academic one. Focusing on women's rights in particular, I've been very lucky to be born in a family where equality has always been the core value and I have been taught very early in life to take action to make this a reality for everyone. 

Additionally, as a woman myself, I have always been aware of not only the large scale discrimination but also the daily challenges we face. This sparked both an interest and a need to ensure that future generations live in a world where the gender they are born with does not affect the entitlement and exercise of their rights.

Where do you see the biggest challenges? 

I believe the biggest challenge is how ingrained certain forms of discrimination and inequality are in our society. Nowadays, in most cases, it is not even open discrimination but rather hidden forms of discrimination which are hard to target since they require structural changes.

In addition, in some countries, these differences and discriminations stem from religious and cultural traditions, thus taking action is even more complicated.


What can we do to address that problem? 

Honestly, I would love to have an answer for this. I think that the best we can do is ensure that certain minimum standards of human rights, and specifically on this topic, women's rights are respected. I understand that there is a limit on how much international organizations and entities can interfere in the sovereignty of states, but I still believe that there are available measures that could ensure no one lives under conditions where their basic rights are infringed on a daily basis. 

When it comes to women's rights in particular, I think that it is important to keep in mind that gender-based discrimination is a structural problem that does only manifest in large forms of open discrimination, but that there are smaller manifestations that also need to be addressed if we really intend to make a change.

Having said this, I believe that one of the stronger weapons is education, especially for future generations. Aside from this, I would also suggest ensuring larger participation of women in business, politics, and other decision-making spaces.


How do your travels influence your studies? 

I believe it allowed me to meet and get in contact with a lot of people from different countries and backgrounds and learn about, not only other legal traditions, but also educational alternatives and possibilities. It also made me become aware of pressing problems and topics discussed in other countries, which to a certain degree helped shape my areas of interest and career path.


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

I believe the language was the biggest challenge. I didn't know any German, honestly. I still don't know much, and English is not my mother tongue, so constantly communicating in another language can be tiring at times.

It’s been particularly challenging in an academic context when using legal terminology.  Aside from that, I think the weather posed another challenge. I expected it to be colder than Buenos Aires, but I was surprised to find that a summer day here could be colder than a winter day back home. The amount of rainy and cloudy days were also a not very well welcomed change.


What distinguishes Hamburg from other cities you’ve been to?

I had never been to Northern Europe before, so I was not used to the few hours of daylight. Also, even though I think it is the same for all of Germany, I was surprised to find that on Sundays, the city is very quiet and almost everything is closed.

On another note, I really liked the large number of Christmas markets around the city. Christmas is my favorite festivity, and I was positively surprised to find that Hamburg is a very Christmassy city. 


Lourdes, thanks for the interview. 



Emma Schimmel