As part of my BA/LLB, I jetted off to spend a semester at Bucerius Law School. Now that this experience has drawn to a close, I can genuinely say that I would recommend it to anyone. Study at Bucerius offers a chance to meet hundreds of internationals from all over the world as well as getting to know German students, while Hamburg offers Germany’s best – from cheap, delicious beer to gorgeous Christmas markets – and serves as an excellent base for further travel (I travelled on weekends to places like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Cracow, Paris, and Munich amongst others).

Bucerius boasts a gorgeous campus – formerly a state botanical institute, nestled amongst Hamburg’s Planten un Blomen gardens, now renovated in modern and comfortable style. This made the walk to uni very pleasant and also wonderfully demonstrated European seasonal transformation – bright roses through autumnal bronzes and reds and finally snow. Physical attractiveness aside, it is a very prestigious university (Germany’s only private law school), and its international programme draws an impressive array of teachers – everyone from Oxonians through former Deutsche Bank directors right to our neighbours from New Zealand lecture there, offering diverse insights on both common and civil law. Bucerius allows exploration of some international topics that aren’t available at UQ, and I rate the academic experience highly. Side note – no Arts subjects are on offer, so be prepared to use up LAWS electives (worth it).

I stayed in student accommodation (Berliner Tor dorm) organised through Bucerius (the international office staff there are amazing and help you with everything from getting a visa to dealing with German banks; they truly make life easy) and this again I would thoroughly recommend. I lived with a Czech, an Argentine and a New Zealander among many others, so student living was definitely a great way to make international friends. The locale was also fantastic – a short walk to the banks of the Alster and the pubs and restaurants of St. Georg. Hamburg is a fantastic city in this respect – the wealth generated by its port has resulted in a cosmopolitan yet oddly affordable city, boasting a great deal of handsome green space as well as many excellent pubs, clubs, and restaurants in the midst of an energetic arts and culture scene.

A few tips for anyone who is Hamburg-bound:

  • Don’t worry if you can’t speak German – people speak English excellently and if you wish to learn/practise more, German courses are offered by Bucerius;
  • I was warned that Hamburg could get wet, windy and cold, but nobody told me that the weather is very, very fickle – so bring a waterproof coat and a sturdy umbrella;
  • Check out both the sofa bar in the Schanze and the fish place at the top of the Colonnaden on the left-hand side (closest to Stephansplatz U-Bahn) – best feed in the city for about 6 euros; and
  • Unlike home, kebabs in Hamburg are good any time and should definitely be tried.

 

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