The 2019 International Exchange Program: new energy to a familiar format

As in years past: autumn equals an International Exchange Program like any other, right? Not quite. The format for 2019 gained momentum with new lecturers, a conference in International Comparative Law and a completely revamped program of extracurricular activities.

Following a brief late summer break, September ushered in a new wave of internationality to the halls of Bucerius. Hailing from near and far, 90 students representing 53 partner universities reinvigorated a campus that had grown quiet during the trimester vacation. Having spent only a few days in their North German surroundings, the Law School newbies had their senses of direction and teamwork put to the test: banded together as Kiezpiraten, Pfeffersäcke and other team names rich in local flair, they were sent out to explore the most beautiful spots of the Hanseatic city on an afternoon-long scavenger hunt. The mission? Get to know Hamburg and fellow exchange students before coursework gets underway.

Keeping pace with years past, the 2019 program offered up a plate of challenging subjects led by faculty from both academia and industry. Participants were able to compile a schedule from 23 English-taught courses focusing on elements of International and Comparative Business Law. Fresh to the list of lecturers was Prof. Dr. Linda Kuschel, who offered a course in "Comparative Copyright Law." Also new to the program were Dr. Maximilian Elspas and Dr. Sebastian Rohrer of the law firm Beiten Burkhardt, who took over this year’s course on Energy Law.

Under the direction of President Prof. Dr. Boele-Woelki and the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL), the “Comparing Comparisons Conference” was held on campus for the first time. During the event, students of the course “Comparative Law Methodology” examined and presented solutions to the same series of problems through the lens of different legal systems.

Weekly events and excursions balanced out the timetable and focused on opportunities to integrate the visiting students into the campus community. New formats such as the "Speed Chat Lunch," a twist on speed dating to introduce the work of research assistants and kick-start dialogue over a hearty meal, Game Night with German Buddies in the campus coffee lounge and the Holiday Charity Bake-Off were well received by guests and locals alike. Of course, there were also city trips and guided tours of the Hamburg museum landscape as well as the traditional International Dinner, an annual potluck at which dishes from students’ home countries are served.

On the subject of international dishes, the diversity of the 24 nations represented in the program was embraced with a weekly culinary celebration: "Mensa International"—each Thursday from October until December, head cafeteria chef Udo Klein conjured up a dish from the home countries of the internationals ... as well as a big grin on the faces of all those who dug in to enjoy the meal!

Lena Johannes (Program Manager International Office)

Lastly, you might enjoy the poem below by Michael Squires (Exchange Student 2019 and Student Representative)!

Guten tag, moin, hello to you all
What a semester it has been this fall
Better than any one of us could reckon
When it all began on September second

Hamburg was seen by foot, bus and boat,
Then on to classes, time to take note,
90 new students together, oh what fun,
After orientation it was time for week one,

After a while, we’d all got settled in,
That’s when the fun could really begin,
International dinner, buddies and food platters,
Somebody made really good cheese and crackers,

The first exams were finished by October 24,
Once we’d all become experts in German law,
After so much hard work, time for a break,
But time away from Hamburg makes a heart ache,

Back second half, even bigger and better,
Let’s just not talk about Hamburg weather,
Game night, cookie bakery and gluhwein party,
A semester together that’s been delightful and hearty,

We’ve all enjoyed ourselves ever so much,
So, always remember to stay in touch
Just like exams, my rhyme comes to an end
Over to Evelyn, take it away my friend…