SEMESTER STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM
University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland)
Switzerland, a multilingual country in the heart of Europe, is known for its high level of academic training.
The University of Neuchâtel is located in the French speaking part of Switzerland in a city that enjoys a central location: it is half an hour by train from the federal capital, Bern, and just over an hour from the economic capital of Zürich or the international city of Geneva. The city of Paris is also only less than four hours away. Nestled in the foot of the mountains of the Jura, Neuchâtel faces the lake and offers a magnificent view of the Alps.
Language of Instruction:
French is the principal language of instruction, although some courses are offered in German and English. The University of Neuchâtel offers an immersion training course in French that begins 10 days before the start of classes. During the semester, the Institute of French Language and Culture offer courses two to three hours per week. Columbia Law School, however, only awards credit for law courses.
Pre- or Co-requisites:
Recommended Arrival Date: September 1
Fall Orientation Program: 10 days before the beginning of the semester (Highly recommended)
Fall semester Registration Period: Approximately September 14 to October 9
Classes Begin: Approximately September 14
Classes End: approximately December 18
Exams Begin: late January
Exams End: February (Columbia students may arrange with professors to have early exams in December)
Spring Orientation Program: 10 days before the beginning of the semester (Highly recommended)
Otherwise: orientation days Thursday and Friday before the beginning of the classes
Recommended Arrival Date: Approximately February 1
Spring Semester Registration Period: Approximately February 22 to March 18
Classes Begin: Approximately February 22
Classes End: Approximately June 3
Exams Begin: June 6
Exams End: June 25
Faculty at Neuchâtel have the option of offering early exams to students from Columbia Law School, which can make it possible for those students to return to New York in time for the spring semester at Columbia. There is no specific rule in this regard, however, and students should approach faculty of Neuchâtel to ask about the possibility of making such arrangements. Most faculty members are usually rather flexible when it comes to this sort of request.
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 Neuchâtel.
Health Insurance Requirements:
The University of Neuchâtel requires that all exchange students be covered by health and accident insurance. Neuchâtel does not offer its own insurance program. Students who are able to document acceptable, alternate coverage are able to apply for a waiver. Columbia Law School students may still be required to pay health insurance fees and health service fees at Columbia. Consult with the Office of International Programs for more information.
The University of Neuchâtel does not have a closed campus. The university and its buildings, which are all close together, are located in the center of the city. See a map of the Neuchâtel campus. Exchange students are given recommendations for three different locations for living. Students who are accepted into the exchange program will receive information from Neuchâtel about how to sign up for housing.
Neuchâtel uses the ECTS credit system. Columbia Law School students are expected to maintain a full time schedule of 30 ECTS (equivalent to 12 Columbia Credits). A class that meets two hours a week is worth 4 ECTS. Each course is described in the course listings. Master’s level lectures tend to run two to four hours per week (100–125 hours in a semester). Students do not register for courses on their own. This is handled by the Mobility Office of the University of Neuchâtel.
Each individual faculty member sets forth a grading method for their course. Students are evaluated on oral and written exams and papers. The details for each course can be found in the course listing.
The University of Neuchâtel uses a grading scale of one to 6. To receive Columbia Law School credit, a student must successfully pass all course with a score of 4 or higher. Students will receive transcripts from the University of Neuchâtel. The grades earned abroad will not be listed on students' Columbia transcripts; the Columbia transcript will only indicate the number of credits earned credits under an international study abroad program.
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.
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.
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).
University of Neuchâtel Application Requirements:
- Cover Letter.
- Letter of Recommendation from a Columbia Law School Faculty Member.
Neuchatel Law School (homepage)
Courses Offered at Neuchatel (2016-2017)
The library of the Faculty of law is open to visiting and exchange students.
8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday
Exchange students from nations that are not a part of the European Union are required to obtain the proper visa to study in Switzerland. Students who are accepted into the exchange program will receive relevant information regarding the visa application process.
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, but that the timing of overseas study 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