Special Note: This program descriptions is currently being revised. Please be sure to check back soon! (September 2015)
European University Institute Semester Exchange
Columbia University School of Law has established a program with the European University Institute (EUI) under which up to two Columbia Law students may spend a semester in Florence, Italy. This is an English language program devoted to the study of European Union law at one of the world's premier institutions.
The EUI is a graduate teaching and research institute established by the member states of the European Union. It has departments in history, economics, political, and social sciences and law. Law students at EUI are graduates taking part in either a 3-year doctoral program or a 1-year masters program. The faculty of EUI are leading scholars in the field of European Community and International and Comparative Law from universities throughout Europe and the world.
The program is conducted under the American Bar Association's rules for individual student study abroad.
EUI is located approximately 3 miles outside of Florence in the Badia Fiesolana and Villa Schifanoia. The Badia complex stands on the slopes of the Fiesole hills halfway between Florence and Fiesole. Though the origins of the Badia Fiesolana are lost in legend, it is known that until 1027 it was the site of the Cathedral of Fiesole and the Bishop's Palace. In the 1400s a new structure was built by the Medicis and it became a center of learning as a monastery and later as a university. Since 1976, the Badia Fiesolana complex has been at the disposal of the EUI.
The fall semester at EUI is from early September to mid-December. During the month of September an accelerated course in Italian is offered. (The law courses do not begin until October.) Students do not receive credit for the language course.
Eligibility & Application Procedure
As EUI is a graduate research institute, Columbia students must have strong research skills. Due to the advanced nature of the courses, students should have a demonstrated interest and previous exposure to European studies. It is strongly recommended that students take the course in European law offered at Columbia prior to their semester at EUI. Those students who have a specific research topic in a subject relating to European Law are particularly attractive.
Applications are accepted from first and second year students and are reviewed by Columbia faculty and administrators. Applications are completed online and are accepted from early February through early March for the following year. In addition to the written applications, students may be interviewed by Columbia faculty and administrators. Once students have been selected to the program by Columbia, they will be required to complete EUI's application for final approval. Please note that final approval is not automatic; it depends on the total number of applications and the availability of faculty advisors at EUI.
Description of Courses & Credit Hours
In order to satisfy residency requirements, the American Bar Association prescribes a minimum of 11 CLS credits to be earned at a foreign institution. Students must notify the Office of International Programs of their final course selections.
EUI offers approximately 9-11 seminars each semester. While it is an English language program, it is not uncommon for 2-3 of the seminars to be held in French. In addition, French lanugage materials may be used in class. Each class meets for 2 hours per week. Columbia students must take a minimum of 5 seminars in order to earn 12 Columbia credits. If studetns are working on an independent research paper, they may take 4 seminars at EUI, plus the major research project. Seminar listings are not made available until some time in the summer. For listings of current seminars and additional information about EUI, visit their web page.
Requirements for Student Performance & Grading Methods
All course offerings are conducted as seminars. In the majority of the cases, students are required to write a 5,000-word research paper for each seminar. Professors also may give take-home exams instead of papers. Class participation also counts for all students. Students will be graded on a pass/fail basis. It is possible for students to get major writing credits for written work completed at EUI.
Students should be aware that foreign grading systems may differ significantly form those employed in the United States. Unlike at Columbia, students at foreign law schools often fail courses the first time they take the examinations. While this is not common among Columbia students studying abroad, it has happened. Since Columbia gives credit only for those courses the student has passed, students studying abroad may wish to take extra courses in order to insure that they will recieve the full number of credits from Columbia.
Students must submit written reports on their course work to Columbia every four weeks (1 page per course). Students who fail to comply with this requirement will not receive credit regardless of their grades at EUI.
Students' written work in examinations and papers, will be reviewed by Columbia Law School after having been graded by the foreign institution. Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken in the program is subject to determination by Columbia Law School. Students will receive grades from EUI, but the Columbia transcripts will only reflect credit for courses passed.
Please note: participation in an exchange program or semester study abroad program does not exempt students from any requirements for the J.D. degree (i.e. pro bono service, etc).
Students continue to pay Columbia tuition, health insurance and health service fees. Other Columbia student activity fees are waived. Tuition fees at EUI are waived. Students are not covered by insurance provided at EUI, but continue to be covered by their Columbia insurance.
EUI reserves the right to cancel any course for reasons of insufficient student registration. Students will receive due notice to that effect. If changes are announced prior to a student's departure from the U.S., and the student is unable to identify satisfactory substitute courses, the student may choose to withdraw from the program. If cancellation occurs after the student has arrived in Italy, substitute courses must be selected and submitted for approval to the Dean of Comparative and International Programs of Columbia Law School.
Parker School Recognition
Students participating in a semester study abroad program are eligible to receive up to 7 of the 10 academic points in international, foreign or comparative law required for Parker School recognition. Students should contact the Parker School upon completion of the program to ascertain how many credits will be awarded for their foreign study.
Contact Individuals & Application
Office of International Programs
Tel: (212) 854-8170; fax: (212) 851-7691
Columbia Law School
435 W. 116th St
New York, NY 10027
Columbia Law School's Office of International Programs is located at:
William and June Warren Hall
1125 Amsterdam Avenue, 6th Floor
European University Institute: http://www.iue.it