Sitting in an advanced English course in a German high school, Jane* blends into the crowd. She is surrounded by white faces and occupies her place amidst the neat rows of off-white desks. She reads the same textbooks, laughs at the same jokes and writes with the same pencils as her classmates. Yet, her past is so starkly different from the peers she sits next to. She is a refugee, who initially escaped to Greece and now lives in Germany with her mother.
If you think you want to be a lawyer but also wish you could stay in school as long as a medical student, you might consider studying law in Germany. The German legal education system takes up ten or more years in most cases — all of them filled with eyebrow-raising words like Zahlungsauthentifizierungsinstrumentelesegerät. I’m spending my third year of law school getting a master’s degree in Berlin, and I thought I’d use this column to show some meaningful differences between the German and American legal education systems. There’s a lot of logic in the German system, and American legal education would do well to adapt certain aspects of it. First, university administration is worlds apart from what we know here at Cornell. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, or that nice and intelligent people aren’t in charge of it — it’s just that there is a much lower administrator-to-student ratio, so administrators simply can’t do as much for you.
Like people, there are tourist traps of all types, colors, shapes and sizes.
For example, a restaurant that is sparsely populated with native speakers but that also touts a near-perfectly translated English menu is a sure low-grade tourist trap. If you have just ordered “crude ham with broiled cheese and salad green,” you will be paying too much for that croque monsieur, monsieur.
Storm clouds are gathered over Brussels: the economic and political crisis that grips the countries of the European Union is highlighting the weaknesses of the EU. Among those weaknesses, the inability of the organization to create common political policy is especially apparent. Though European leaders are hailing a “consensus” that they reached at their emergency summit, the economies of Europe, especially those of Central and Eastern Europe, are falling closer and closer to collapse.