To say that my exchange to Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany was an incredible experience is an understatement – I truly had the best time of my life and I can almost guarantee that, should you choose Bucerius, you will too! I feel that it is almost impossible to impress upon others with mere words how absolutely amazing an exchange to Bucerius and the beautiful city of Hamburg is. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage anyone considering studying abroad to just do it because you will not regret it!

Bucerius Law School is Germany’s leading law school with its prestige highlighted by its selective student enrolment, the faculty of highly regarded German and international professors and lawyers, and its wealth and connections to the legal industry and prominent politicians. The small campus is a beautiful, modern and welcoming one and is perfectly situated in downtown Hamburg. The courses on offer are structured specifically for international exchange students. UQ students only have to study 16 ECTS worth of courses which is typically 6-7 courses – but do not worry, I found the academic experience to be less demanding than at UQ and my workload was much less than other students who had to study 30 ECTS or more. Personally, I studied courses on M&A, EU law, German corporate law, corporate governance and international banking, together with the compulsory German law survey course.

In terms of accommodation, I was fortunate enough to secure an apartment sublet which the Bucerius International Office provides information about and then it is left to you to contact the relevant Bucerius students and to negotiate with them. Of the 110 exchange students, around a third secured sublets, another third lived in student dormitories organised by Bucerius, while another third organised their accommodation privately through housing agencies. I would recommend living as close to Bucerius / downtown Hamburg as you can – it makes going to school and going out so much more convenient. In terms of cost of living in Hamburg, I found things on the whole to be relatively cheaper than in Australia (it made me realise how high cost of living is in Australia!) and the free public transport card you are given helps out a lot too!

Most of all, the thing that made my experience truly unforgettable was the lifelong friendships I formed with an amazing group of “Internationals”. To experience life in Germany, to share the excitement and challenges of being on exchange, and to learn so much from each other’s life experiences has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to date.

Top 5 tips:

  • German language – while most Germans can speak a good level of English, it is very helpful to know some basic German to make day-to-day life that little bit easier
  • Carry some cash with you as not every place (particularly some restaurants and supermarkets) accepts credit or debit cards
  • If you are unaccustomed to the European winter, be prepared – invest in a sturdy jacket and warm winter clothing, have an umbrella with you as the weather gods in Hamburg are fickle, and psych yourself up for sunrise and sunset at ghastly hours
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to do something with other exchange students and the German students because your time in Hamburg will come to an end much sooner than you expect
  • Invest the time to explore the incredible city that is Hamburg:        
       Climb the tower of St Michaelis church for a breathtaking view of Hamburg
       Catch a ride on the Elbe River ferry to see Hamburg’s port and the beaches and manors of Blankenese
       Have drinks at one or all of the bars in Sternschanze (“Schanze”) and explore the many great restaurants and eateries across the city
       Party on the Reeperbahn (“Kiez”) at least once and visit the Fischmarkt (fish market) after a long night out
       Visit the Hamburger Dom (an Ekka-like funfair) and go ice skating at the Eisarena in Planten un Blomen or, if you are lucky, on the frozen Alster lake                        

 

On this site

Go to top