SEMESTER STUDY ABROAD
Humboldt University in Berlin
Located in the city center, Humboldt University is the oldest institution of higher education in Berlin, Germany. It was established in 1880 in the palace of Prince Friedrich Heinrich Ludwig of Prussia, a building that dates back to 1765. With approximately 2,500 students, Humboldt’s s German-language semester exchange offers students an excellent program in comparative legal studies and international law.
Language of Instruction:
German. Students must be fluent in German to participate in this exchange program.
Pre- or Co-requisites:
Summer Semester 2016
Application Deadline: September 1, 2015
Recommended Arrival: Late March (or late February for Intensive German class)
Classes Begin: April 18, 2016
Classes End: July 23, 2016
Exams Period: July 20–31, 2016
Tuition and Fees:
Students who participate in a study abroad program will continue to pay Columbia tuition, although in certain programs, health insurance and health service fees can be waived with proof of adequate alternative coverage for the entire year. All other student fees are waived.
Cost of Living:
Students are responsible for the cost of living while abroad. These costs include travel to and from the foreign country, housing expenses, food, utilities, entertainment, and all other costs associated with study abroad. Please consult with the Office of International Programs to learn more about the cost of living in Berlin.
Health Insurance Requirements
All students are required to obtain insurance. Representatives from German public insurance companies are invited to enrollment, so that international students can purchase insurance. The cost is approximately 80 euro per month. Humboldt University does not offer its own insurance program. International students may only waive the insurance requirement so long as they have enrolled in an eligible European Union health insurance plan.
Columbia Law School students are required to pay health insurance fees and health service fees at Columbia if alternative coverage is not obtained.
Humboldt University does not offer on-campus housing to international students. For information on housing options, including international student housing handled by a third party in conjunction with Humboldt University, please visit the accommodations website.
For reference, view the 2016-17 course listings for Humboldt University. The course listings for 2017 will be available on or near February 1, 2017. Prior to registration, students have access to course descriptions and syllabi.
Columbia students are asked to follow the guidelines of Humboldt's program “Grundkenntnisse im deutschen Recht” (Fundamentals of German Law), which amounts to roughly 12 hours of class each week to earn a total of 30 ECTS for the semester. Columbia students must take at least three courses, one of which is evaluated by a written exam, the second course is either a written or an oral exam, and the third course has a term paper.
Humboldt University uses a grading scale of zero to 18 points. See the chart below:
a particularly outstanding performance
an excellent, well above average performance
an above average performance
a satisfactory performance
a performance that meets the minimum requirements despite several deficiencies
a performance replete with substantial deficiencies
a thoroughly inadequate performance
ECTS Grading system:
Fail (improvement required)
Fail (severely in need of improvement)
Externships and Site Visits
Follow this link to learn more about the university's mentoring program.
Students are required to attend 75 percent of the sessions.
Columbia students follow the “Grundkenntnisse im deutschen Recht” plan (Fundamentals of German Law).
Variations from this course plan can be negotiated. Students completing the “Fundamentals of German Law” program will receive a University Certificate. All other students will just receive a transcript of records.
It may be possible while studying abroad to arrange work with a local nongovernmental organization that would qualify towards the fulfillment of the pro bono requirement. Please consult with Social Justice Initiatives for further information.
Each year, up to four Columbia Law School students may participate in the Humboldt exchange program. CLS applications open during the Spring term only and should be submitted for the 2L spring term or the fall or spring terms in the 3L year.
Students who score 60 or less on the C-Test—a test of German language skills—have the option of taking an intensive German course. They then need to re-take the C-Test and obtain a score of 61 or higher.
Selections will be made upon the strength of the personal statement; academic record at Columbia; faculty recommendations; and other factors that reflect the likelihood of a candidate’s successful participation in the program. In some instances, interviews may be conducted to assist in the selection process.
Columbia Law School Application Requirements:
- Columbia Law School Study Abroad Application, including a Personal Statement.
- Curriculum Vitae.
- The name of a Columbia Law School faculty member who can submit a brief recommendation.
- Official transcript (i.e., configure LawNet/Apply for Study Abroad/My Services to allow OIP access to your transcript).
Humboldt University Application Materials:
- Online Application (accepted students will receive a link from OIP).
- Score of 61 or higher on the C-Test (German language skill).
Humboldt University Online
Humboldt University Law School
Academic Calendar 2016-17
Humboldt University homepage
International students have full access to Humboldt Univeristy library services.
American applications for student visas are processed by Humboldt University after students enter Germany for their program of study.. American students participating in Summer School programs of less than 90 days do not need a student visa. All other non-EU passport holders must also apply for a student visa and should refer to the German Consulate for more information regarding entry requirements based on their national origin.
For more information
Visit the Office of International Programs in William and June Warren Hall, 6th Floor. There, you can view any additional information on file from our partner schools, as well as any relevant program evaluations that have been submitted by students who have participated in this and other study abroad programs.
Studying abroad has been very beneficial for many students who are considering a public interest career. The timing of overseas study, however, may also present scheduling conflicts with regard to public interest hiring calendars. Please consult with Social Justice Initiatives to learn more.
Director of International Student Exchange and Dual Degree Programs
Office of International and Comparative Law Programs, Columbia Law School
Office: William and June Warren Hall, Room 605