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Student Maximilian Kirchhoff

"Global Law trains you to understand politics, economics and history combined with law in an international context."

foto Maximilian Kirchhoff
  • Nationality: German
  • Bachelor's program: Global Law
  • Started in: 2015
  • Extracurricular activities: Student Ambassador of Tilburg University
  • High school diploma: Abitur
  • Languages: German and English

What do you like most about studying at Tilburg University?

In relation to the university itself, there are many things that I like and that I got really used to. One of the things that stands out at the university is the campus. The campus of the university is located very centrally and is also connected with all buildings of the entire university, which means that the university focuses its location on one specific place and is for example, not distributed throughout the whole city. An advantage of having such a campus is that everything is in the surroundings and directly accessible. Moreover, beneficial from that is as well that you meet some of your friends on the campus, even though they are enrolled in completely different study programs or faculties. Another thing that I like very much is that the university is really modern. Not only the buildings itself, but also all of the lecture rooms are built and designed in a way that it gives a very modern impression, contributing to a comfortable feeling among the students. Regarding my study program, it is important to mention that the number of students is quite small. For example, I have come together with almost 80 other students, which in comparison to other universities entails a very good quality of the study.

Do your studies take a lot of time? Do you have any time for activities besides your studies?

The amount of workload we have varies from semester to semester. Besides that, it also depends upon what kind of student you are and how exactly you handle the tasks. From the beginning of the semester we have about two or three assignments per week, in which we have to write a page answering a specific question that is given regarding the content of the course. These assignments are definitely doable and dependent on the topic, they do not require much time. Towards the middle and the end of a semester, we get a little more tasks, which are more time-consuming because of their complexity, but they are also more important because they often constitute a part of your final grade. In addition to the weekly assignments, the exam preparation is always coming at the end of the semester. I am always trying to finish my assignments as early as possible, because I do not want to have any kind of pressure in the end. Especially together with the exams coming up it is very good to have as much time to focus on that. Lastly, if you do the tasks early enough and allocate the outstanding ones in time, then there is more than enough time left for you. Following this principle, I can regularly meet my friends and do sports in the week.

What sort of student is a great fit for your program? And who is absolutely not?

In general, I would say that every single person, who is interested in law, politics and history in an international context fits right in this program. For the program and the surroundings as well, I find it very important that a person brings a certain amount of commitment. By this, I mean that you regularly participate in class discussions or strongly engage in group assignments or individual projects. I would also like to say that you should be ready to take on new things, whether it is to work with different people or to take over tasks, which may seem completely new to you. Besides the study, I would also say that people should be very open, especially when it comes to getting to know new people. In this program, people from all over the world come together with different backgrounds, which are worth to get known to.

What is it like to study completely in English, together with international students? Was the transition from high school difficult?

Before I started studying here, I was very concerned about the level of English at the university. After a couple of weeks, I realized that I worried too much about it. Compared to the high school, at least for me, the English has not changed much. The only area I had problems in was reading. Hereby, I got confronted with academic texts and books, which were written in a slightly higher level of English than in school. This was something I had to get used to. I got really comfortable with the level of English. One of the reason for that is that we have an additional English course in the first semester, which prepares students to adapt their current English skills to the legal context. This helped very much in writing essays and also in structuring my arguments in a right manner. In dealing with English language only, the international students are a great help in this context. As an international student, your only language that you use is English. Therefore, you automatically learn more English, as you are usually working and handling all daily matters with international students.

What is your favorite subject?

In my first and second semester of the Global Law program, I liked the subject of legal history very much. In this particular course, we focused on International and European legal history. We began with the legal history of the Roman Empire and continued with the middle Ages and ended with the time today. Under this course, we have investigated all the important legal systems for their origin and development. In some situations I was fascinated about how developed and advanced some systems were in the early world. In addition, legal history helps to understand the life and culture of different peoples. Besides that, I´ve been interested in history from my early ages, which contributed to the fact that this course was a lot of fun as well. Another thing that makes legal history so important is that you get to understand that each individual legal system has its own history and is characterized by the cultural and developmental circumstances at the time.

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