Bucerius Law School is committed to providing its students with the highest possible level of administrative support. We do this so that you can concentrate on your studies, get to know your fellow students, enjoy the city and make the most of your time here.
We are your experts in all matters regarding study abroad and international exchange. We are here to support you before and during your stay at Bucerius. You can count on our expertise and experience with international students and the various issues that accompany a study abroad experience.
With your admission to one of the programs, you will receive a personal log in to access Bucerius’ intranet. There you will find extensive information on all academic and administrative matters.
Below we have gathered some administrative information on things you should think about before coming to Bucerius.
Bucerius does not have any on-campus or dormitory housing of its own. However, the campus is easily accessible by public transportation and the International Office actively assists you in finding suitable accommodation.
- A limited number of apartments and rooms will be available on a sublet basis from Bucerius students leaving for their semester abroad in the summer and fall. Rent varies greatly, ranging anywhere between EUR 400 and EUR 750 per month depending on size and location. Admitted students will have access to these sublets at the beginning of June through Bucerius' intranet pages.
- The International Office also reserves a limited number of rooms in a private dormitory administered by the Studierendenwerk Hamburg. Rooms will be assigned by the International Office, not the Studierendenwerk. Further information about the dorm rooms and the application process will be made available to all admitted students at the beginning of May. Dormitory housing is usually more affordable than apartment housing, but unfortunately there are not enough places to accommodate all students.
- In addition, Bucerius provides lists with agencies offering interim housing contracts, such as City-Wohnen.
All contact data and additional information about the housing market in Hamburg, including neighborhood descriptions and the most common abbreviations found in accommodation ads, will be provided once you have been admitted to Bucerius Law School.
It makes life much easier if students have a German bank account during their time at Bucerius. Although it is often not possible to open an account for a period of only 4 months, the International Office has made an arrangement with their house bank to allow exchange students to open an account and obtain a Euro check ("EC-") card (like a debit and ATM card). The account and EC-card will be ready and waiting when students arrive in Hamburg, sparing them the hassle of having to apply for an account on their own.
Students who require a visa to enter Germany for the purpose of participating in the exchange program at Bucerius may be asked by the German embassy or consulate to open a blocked bank account. You will be asked to deposit a specific amount into this account to prove that you have sufficient funding for your stay. The amount required is approx. €3500. Please note that this is a very frugal budget calculated by the German government for all of Germany. As Hamburg is a rather expensive city, we recommend you use our calculation in the finances section as guidance for your actual budget.
Over the course of the program, a few afternoons will be kept open so that you can enjoy some time off campus and take advantage of extracurricular activities offered by the International Office.
Hamburg has numerous museums, theaters, cafes, bars and clubs and sights to discover. Everybody will find something of interest here: You can walk through the Old Elbe Tunnel, discover hidden pathways and cottages in the Treppenviertel in Blankenese or sink your toes into the sand in one of Hamburg's numerous beach clubs on the Elbe River. The city is very spread out and surprisingly green, thanks to an abundance of trees and parks scattered throughout the city. Just minutes away from the Bucerius campus is the beautiful Alster Lake. You can take a stroll or jog around the lake: With a circumference of 7.6 km (4.7 miles), you can complete the entire loop for a decent workout.
Free guided tours and excursions allow you to explore Hamburg, its museums and other sites of interest.
Proof of health insurance is required for your visa application and enrollment at Bucerius. While the embassies may accept a travel insurance from a provider in your home country as an “entry travel insurance”, the Hamburg authorities may not (this is a matter that is up to the individual German states and may be handled differently in Hamburg than in Bavaria, for example). We therefore recommend taking out German insurance. This can either be travel insurance or public general coverage insurance. Details will be provided after you have been admitted to the program
Hamburg has an excellent public transport system (HVV) which means that you will not need a car to get around.
Participants in the international exchange program will be provided with a free student public transportation ticket for the duration of their stay.
Participants in the summer programs are encouraged to buy weekly tickets (approx. €30) as this tends to be cheaper than buying individual tickets for each ride.
Both student and weekly tickets include transport by subway, bus, night bus and Elbe ferries.
For more information on the public transport system in Hamburg, please refer to the HVV Website.
If you prefer to jump on a bicycle instead of taking the bus or the metro, you may be interested in StadtRAD (City Bike), a bike-for-hire network that covers the whole inner-city area. You can pick up a bike at one of the many hiring stations around town and drop it off at one near your destination.
The first 30 minutes are free of charge, which is usually enough time to get anywhere within the city center. After 30 minutes, you pay by the minute. Alternatively, you can rent a bike for a whole day.
Depending on your nationality you may need a visa to enter Germany. Contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information.
Citizens of EU counties do not need a visa to study in Germany, but will need to register their local address with the German authorities. They will have to attend a ten-minute appointment with the registry office. The International Office will provide all necessary information on how to make an appointment and assist in filling out all relevant documents.
All non-EU students must obtain a visa either before coming to Germany or once they are in Hamburg, depending on their citizenship.
Citizens of most non-EU/Schengen countries require an entry visa to come to Germany for the purpose of studying at a university. To check whether you need a visa, please visit the website of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. If this is the case, you must apply for an entry visa in your home country before coming to Germany. Bucerius will provide the proof of admission required by the German authorities, but it is your responsibility to obtain a visa in a timely manner. Please note that this can take several months. The entry visa may be valid for three to six months. Please ask the consular officer assessing your visa application if you may be issued a six-month visa. If you are issued a three-month visa, this must be extended after you arrive in Hamburg. Be sure to make copies of all of the documents you submit to the embassy (e.g., the financial statement), as you will need these later to apply for your visa extension. The International Office can assist with the extension of your entry visa, though not with the visa application itself.
Visa Extension/ Residence Permit
The extension of the entry visa is called a residence permit. If you require a visa and are issued a visa with a duration shorter than the duration of the exchange program, you must apply for a visa extension/residence permit after arrival. The International Office will provide all necessary information and will assist in filling out all relevant forms. You will need to attend a half-hour meeting with the Hamburg authorities to apply for your visa extension/residence permit.
Residence Permit for students who do not require an entry visa
Citizens of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland or the U.S. do not need to apply for a visa ahead of time. If you have citizenship from one of these countries, you are allowed to travel to Germany without a visa for 90 days. You must, however, obtain a residence permit after arrival. The International Office will help you apply for the residence permit upon your arrival. Citizens of Brazil should check if they need a visa for any countries they may be transiting on the way to Germany.
"One of my best decisions during legal studies"
"The choice of Bucerius for an exchange program is probably one of my best decisions during legal studies. The curriculum offers an impressive number of subjects so everyone can easily find an interesting discipline to explore. Outside of the classroom, numerous excursions and trips were organized. I am extremely grateful to the International Office staff who assisted us at all times during the program. Everyone was very helpful and understanding, which made me feel welcome and appreciated. I was lucky to come to Hamburg!"
Bucerius Law School grants all international students the same rights as German or EU students and offers all the services and assistance required by the National Code of Conduct on Foreign Students at German Universities.