The China study abroad program is a fantastic opportunity that I had the chance to be apart of. It is incredible to be able to live in a foreign country and study international law at their university.
One of the best parts of the China Program is that Chinese students take the classes with you and there are really meaningful discussions had about the student’s views on different topics compared to our views. The Director of the China Study Abroad Program, Professor Tiefenbrun, also arranges for speakers to discuss various legal topics in the Brown Bag Lunch Seminars. This year we had an intellectual property lawyer in China speak to us about why copyright infringement is rampant in China, and the steps that are being taken to try to reform. These seminars are an incredible opportunity to be able to hear from people on pressing international topics and helps students obtain a well-rounded, educated understanding of why there are differences in the way people think all over the world.
Besides the course work, the China Program offers a great deal of cultural experience as well. Because we are thrust into a new culture, in a place where many of us don’t know the language, we are forced to struggle a bit to communicate with the people of the area, as well as cooperate with other American students and work as a team.
Its impossible to obtain the same level of education and understanding for these international differences by just reading someone else’s experience; actually going through the China Program and immersing myself in the culture and, at times, the struggle, gave me a greater respect and understanding as to why there are such vast differences between the American legal system and the Chinese legal system.
The China Program is one of the best things, if not the best thing, I have ever done in my law school career. For me so far, there has been no greater learning experience than learning comparative law in China, among my Chinese peers.