LLS International Summer School 2016


Globalization is one of the buzzwords that floats through classrooms of business and law schools around the world. However, for many students it stays a rather illusionary and abstract concept until they get the opportunity to experience other cultures and get the chance to realise that the existence of world brands, such as Coca Cola and McDonalds, does not necessarily mean that we are all the same. The German and American participants of the LLS International Summer School get this opportunity, and the eagerness to learn from each other’s cultures is always stunning. All of them understand and live the longstanding motto of the programme: “Nothing’s better, nothing’s worse, just different!”

Normally almost 20 students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UT-RGV), the Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) and the Texas A&M University Kingsville (TAMUK) participate in the programme. The programme is structured in a way that calls for the involvement of German students who partly participate in classroom discussions and also often open their homes for American students for the period of two weeks. This idea of “hosting” is not only based on the limited budget that the programme works with but rather on the enriching cultural exchanges between hosts and guests. It is the only true way of bringing a new culture closer to someone – something a hotel or hostel cannot provide that easily. Moreover, the dedication of the student organization “Fachgruppe Recht” and “ELSA” over the last few years has been crucial for the success.

The programme lives on the combination of lectures, case studies and cultural activities. Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hohlbein and Prof. Dr. Thomas Schomerus, who received a teaching award for the concept, are leading the programme. The lectures contribute to the exchange of views on legal questions. Amber Rachal who took part in 2016 says about her experience: "I was expecting the Germans to be really straight but looking back my impression now is that they can be really passionate on what they are doing. The lecturers of leuphana Law School showed so much enthusiasm and I was amazed by their passion for teaching law. It was certainly a great experience!" Other Leuphana professors and the accompanying scholars from the U.S. universities contribute to it and prepare the students for a job in a globalized world. The interactive lectures comprise hard facts from fields such as economics, law, management and also soft skills like intercultural communication. And a closer look at Germany’s past is an essential part of the programme as well. The students are not only taken to Berlin for one weekend, but also to the concentration camp memorial in Neuengamme.

In times of social media the students stay connected long after the farewell from their newly won friends. Many of the American students are so fascinated that they are seriously considering coming back to Leuphana and “Märchenstadt Lüneburg”, as they often say, to continue their studies in a master programme. The Summer School generates memories that last like Michael Flores - a former participant - told us when looking back on his time spent in Lüneburg: "Still to this day I catch myself reminiscing and telling stories about those two weeks. It's crazy how the little amount of time spent there really changed my perspective on certain things. Definitely miss being there." On the other hand, German students express their interest in a semester abroad, or even an MBA programme in the United States. This would continue an ongoing tradition. In the past, many students from Leuphana have continued their studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UT-RGV) in a master programme and even entered a doctoral programme.  Even more spent one semester in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas where UTPA is located. The LLS International Summer School has been and will continue to be an important experience in students’ lives. In some cases it might even change their lives entirely as it has done for so many of them in the past.  

Later in the year, the UT-RGV is very likely to host once more the “Transatlantic Sustainability Seminar” (TASS) of Prof.Dr.Schomerus – again with students from Leuphana. The TASS can be described as the reverse side this cooperation.

For all students – present or future – the LLS International Summer School provides innumerable opportunities, be it finding new friends all over the world and maintaining international contacts and friendships or taking the first step towards studies and even careers abroad. Are you interested in hosting an American student during our next Summer School?

Interested? Get in touch: summerschool@leuphana.de