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Nice Program 2011 – Week 2 & 3 – By Professor Tiefenbrun

July 14, 2011

Nice, France

The Nice Program 2011 is at the end of its  third week, and students and faculty are working and playing hard with lots of excitement and enjoyment of the beauty surrounding them on the French Riviera. The 48 American students from several law schools in the United States and the 13 European students from Holland, Italy, and France are spending lots of quality time together, getting to know eachother, Europe and how European law works from the perspective of European law students. The cultural and educational exchange takes time and effort to nurture, and it is working. Students in the Nice Program have reported to me that they thoroughly enjoyed Ambassador David Scheffer’s teaching and Distinguished Guest Lecture as well as all his wonderful short stories about working on the formation of the International Criminal Court and about  working as Madeleine Albright’s legal advisor before and after she became Secretary of State. David Scheffer and all our students and professors are still talking about Justice Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe’s incisive analysis of the burkha ban and the headscarf ban in France.  During the week and after class,  students and professors have been able to get to know each other well at special Receptions in my apartment, at the beach, going to restaurants in Nice, and traveling together for site seeing in Monaco, Antibes, Aix en Provence, Arles (where Van Gogh worked), Avignon (Palace of the Popes), and Nice itself with the Chagall and Matisse museums (among many others), the old town and Matisse’s studio, the nice jazz festival, and many other wonderful places to have fun and to experience the great European culture and its rich history that inspire its laws. On the weekends many students ventured off to Spain to see the running of the bulls, Switzerland, Paris, London, Tunisia, Rome, and others preferred to stay put in Nice and to take short day trips in the environs of Nice. The first  weekend I went to Nimes, Arles, and Avignon, and last weekend I went to Dresden and Leipzig in the former East Germany where I saw Bach’s house, Mendelssohn’s house, and Robert Schumann’s house as well as Leipzig University. These two cities were completely restored after World War II, and the trip there was amazing, not to mention the great music I heard everywhere. This weekend I am in the Italian lake area (Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore,  Lake Como, and Lake Garda), staying mainly in Orta so I can hear opera at La Scala in nearby Milan. Several students are going to Rome, Florence, Pisa, and the fabulous Cinque Terra for gorgeous views, delicious Italian food, and good hiking. Monday Professor Randy Grossman will be giving us all an interesting talk on international sports law. Two or three days later–final exams. Hard to believe we are  juggling all this work and play so well. Students who went to both China and Nice report to me that they loved both programs equally and are delighted that they went to both. But many confess that  Nice is absolutely a heaven on earth, a real vacation in a place where it is easy to find pleasure and beauty. The Nice law school requires us to walk up a big, steep hill, but inside, the institution is full of friendly faces, helpful people, and a full wall ceramic mural by Chagall who donated it to the law school! Working hard and playing hard in a land of rich history, culture, and legal tradition that all of us are learning about everyday. Not bad, eh?


Professor Susan Tiefenbrun