Exchange programme broadens study experience for Auckland Law students

14 August 2013

48 students from The University of Auckland’s Law School will be spending part of their final year of study abroad. Destinations include the United States, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong and Germany.

The final year of a law degree consists largely of elective law courses, with the content not necessarily New Zealand focused. It provides an ideal opportunity for law students to experience study abroad.

“We have consistently had about 10% of our fifth year students travel abroad to study, and over recent years this has steadily increased, with 48 taking up the opportunity in 2013.

“Successful selection for an exchange is based on a student's grade point average, which must be a B or higher,” says Stephen Penk, Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer in Law.

Alongside the University’s 360 degree Auckland Abroad exchange programme, the Law School has 24 law-specific exchange agreements with leading law schools throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

“In 2004 we responded to then Vice Chancellor John Hood’s vision of engaging 10% of our under-graduate student body in overseas study experience. We established 14 law-specific agreements and over the last nine years, this has increased to 24.

“With 300 final-year students in any given year, we aim to have at least 30 of those studying abroad,” says Stephen Penk.

The Law School considers a range of criteria when developing exchange agreements: international rankings, availability of accommodation, student support services and, for non-English speaking countries, the range of courses taught in English.

“The aim is for reciprocity over the term of the exchange agreement. This provides an opportunity to work closely with overseas law schools,” says Stephen Penk.

The range of universities involved in the law-specific exchange programme means students can select according to particular academic strengths or personal interests - For example, a student interested in human rights might choose a European Law School, someone wanting to travel in a particular part of the world might select a university with easy access to that area, and another might choose a university based on personal reasons such as pursuing cultural or family connections.

Positive feedback from students involved in the programme includes valuing the opportunity to access courses not available in New Zealand. International students who come to the Auckland Law School bring their own perspectives which enrich the experience of all students.

The Law School, and the University, facilitates Exchange mobility through financial support with travel grants and scholarship opportunities.

Studylink entitlements are also portable for students on an exchange, so any eligibility for student loans or allowances can be transferred to the country of study.

For further information on the Law School’s exchange programme:

See also: Law student’s outlook enriched by Japanese exchange.