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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Study abroad adds program at The Hague for spring 2011

Published: April 23, 2010
Section: Front Page

The Hague summer program has now been extended into a spring 2011 study abroad option by the Office of Global Affairs in conjunction with the Study Abroad Office, the International and Global Studies Program and the Legal Studies Program.

The new study abroad program will be similar to the six-week program at The Hague, which will take place this summer. The spring program will give 10 students the opportunity to take three or four classes, participate in in-depth research and an internship program as well as participate in workshops with lawyers and judges from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The semester program will cost the equivalent of a typical Brandeis semester. Students would still be responsible for housing, transportation and meal costs as with any other semester study abroad option. Housing will be available at the University of Leiden; which is fifteen minutes away from The Hague, or closer than Brandeis is to Boston, explained Professor Richard Gaskins (LGLS), the faculty member teaching the program.

Language requirements during the semester have yet to be decided. However, many language skills such as French and Spanish that have been acquired by a student may be of use in different internship and research opportunities depending on the individual student.

In The Hague Summer program students will participate in workshops with international lawyers and ICC judges. It will consist of case analysis and hypothetical case study. During the semester option students will have the ability to intern and work on current ICC cases.

“Many of the court procedures and the work that goes on in The Hague happens outside of the court room,” said Gaskins. “Undergraduate students will be able to participate in these long-term research projects and experimental learning options and bring a perspective that law students wouldn’t.”

Gaskins said the semester option will allow students to go on excursions to different towns and countries both as a class and independently. “There’s more opportunity for a broader cultural picture, students will be able to visit museums and experience art and music and things of that sort because the course load isn’t so compact since it’s a semester [program] versus a summer [program],” he said.

Students will take “The Spirit of International Law,” and “Advocacy in the International Criminal Court,” taught by Professor Gaskins as well as one class taught by a Dutch professor who will be selected during the summer program at The Hague. In addition to these three classes, students will have the option of taking a class of their interest at the University of Leiden where they will be living.

The classes taught by Gaskins and the Dutch professor will be part of the Brandeis Curriculum and therefore will affect your Brandeis GPA unlike other study abroad options. Any classes taken at the University of Leiden will be considered transfer credits and dealt with accordingly.

Credits will be accepted for the Brandeis classes in the IGS, LGLS and Politics Departments.

The Office of Global Affairs and the Ethics Center; who have had a strong track record of working with international tribunals and international judges; conceived the program as a way for students to have more then a “textbook experience with International Law,” said Gaskins. He added that his experience in The Hague will also allow for a better curriculum in Waltham- based classes.

Students already approved to study abroad in the fall may choose to apply to this program in the fall instead of their pre-approved program. “The Office of Study Abroad will administer the application process, coordinate pre-departure student support and will be involved with the development of the Program,” wrote Alyssa Grinberg, JBS program manager and administrative staff member of The Hague Program.