Berlin School of Law and Economics - Summer School Report

Week 1

My friend/colleague Simran, and I reached Berlin for the summer school on 5th July 2015, Sunday evening. We checked in to our hostel that night seeking for some sleep for a cheerful next day. Next day being the first day of the summer school was amazing as it started with a fruitful orientation where we were introduced to the University and its colleges. We then were made aware about the courses they offered and how this summer school program would unfold in the following weeks. There was an amalgamation of good concrete studies as well as leisure time for city tours and nightlife. Ms. Stefanie Lorenzen who taught us about the Labor Laws and Human Rights in the Europe led the first week. It was an interesting week as I being in my 2nd year had not come across anything with respect to Labor Laws or Human Rights in India as a matter of fact till date. I got to learn about How Europe actually deals with the cases with respect to the infringement of Human rights of the Labor and what all Organizations have they set up in order to protect the interest of the workers there e.g. ILO- International Labor Organization which has International Labor Standards (ILS) that determine the standards maintained to achieve equality and non-discrimination at workplace. We were given two study material books with a lot of content in each of them. At the end of the week we had a small written test for 20 points for which we would be graded at the end of the program. We also had a German course along with the program, which was very interesting due to the activities we were given to do in class. We were given the weekend off for any free activity, however we had an optional leisure time within which we could attend the excursions organized by the University itself. These included city tours where week 1 concluded at a wet note as we had a boat city tour of Berlin and a trip to the famous Postdam Palace on a rainy Sunday.

Week 2

The second week consisted of a deep study of the European Law all in all. We were informed about the intricacies of the European Union i.e. what is the EU and how it works. It was more towards the European Governance with respect to their council and member states. We were given another study material to refer to with the provisions for the formation of the TEU and TFEU (Legislation upon which the European Governance is broadly based on). These acts defined the powers of the various institutions within the EU e.g. The European Parliament, The European Council, The European Court of Justice etc. We also had a mandatory trip to the Bundesrat, which is the European Council where we got a visual exposure to how the Council meetings are held and what really happens within them. That week we were introduced to new concepts and pronunciation techniques in the German class as well. We also had a lot of leisure activities to do such as visit the Bunkers (underground) where Hitler and his Nazi army made public bunkers available to the public for shelter during the Second World War. We had to give another test on Friday regarding whatever we learnt that week. The readers having the provisions were allowed for our perusal while attempting the application-based questions. The weekend was given an off, however the University had organized a trip for the students who were interested. We were taken to Dresden, a beautiful city in Berlin. We did a city tour on foot and on boat. We visited an old Brewery and the famous Jewel House since King Augustus’s rule. We also sat in a cable car to reach the top of the hill and spent few hours on shopping as well. It was a two-day trip where only 25 students were selected on first come first basis.

Week 3

European Corporate governance was the subject, which prevailed this week. We had a combination of two professors out of which Prof. Peter took in charge majorly. This was the final week within which we were tested twice, once for German and the other one for EU Corporate laws. The subject made us aware about the corporate governance within Europe i.e. how companies operate with respect to their management within their Board of Directors and shareholders of the organization. We had one leisure visit to the famous Berliner Kindle Brewery to recognize the value of German Beer. We also had a mandatory company visit to Bombardier where the Head of Legal of the organization told us about how the Company works. Since the head office of Bombardier was in Berlin itself, we got a first hand experience about the functioning and activities of the company in detail. It was a mourning week since everyone had actually come close. We had a farewell ceremony in the college hall in afternoon on the last day where we were given our attendance certificates. We were also shown a movie, which was shot by Prof. Katja (In charge for the summer school program) about our whole experience in Berlin as a part of the Summer School Program. The Last day folded by a farewell party at a Biergarten organized by the University for everyone who was a part of this program, including our mentors, teachers etc.
With a sad bidding of farewell to the summer school, we left for New Delhi the very next morning of 25th July 2015.