The Department of Law has a large and comprehensive network of partner universities around the world, and can advise you on planning a period of study abroad. If you want to go abroad before earning your LL.B. degree, the fifth and sixth semester are considered ideal. However, you can also go abroad after that. It is not mandatory to complete a period of study abroad.
In this section, you will find all rules and regulations you need to comply with when planning a study visit abroad.
By taking part in the Erasmus program, law students at the University of Mannheim can get to know the legal system of another country while simultaneously improving their foreign language skills and getting immersed in a different culture. The Department of Law cooperates with 88 other European universities in 19 countries, offering its students a wide range of options to choose from. But organizing a period of study in another country requires thorough preparation. If you are a student in the first phase of the integrated program in Law (LL.B.), you can read about what you need to keep in mind in the following paragraphs.
Going abroad only makes sense after you have acquired sufficient knowledge about your own legal system.
If you are a student enrolled in the integrated program in Law (LL.B. / state examination) at the University of Mannheim, this means that you must have passed the modules “Zivilrecht 1&2” (private law), “Öffentliches Wirtschaftsrecht” (public economic law), and all modules in “Wirtschaftswissenschaften” (business administration and economics).
Therefore, we recommend that you go abroad during the fifth and sixth subject-specific semester. Please note that if you choose to go earlier or later you might encounter difficulties that relate to program-specific dates and deadlines or to the ability to take the first state examination in stages (Abschichtung).
We advise students to spend two semesters abroad (fall and spring semester). If you deviate from this, you may have to take your exams at another point in time than usual as they are only repeated once a year, which in turn may mean you lose the possibility of Abschichtung. Should you decide to spend only one semester abroad, please contact us well in advance.
If you do not want to lose the possibility of Abschichtung, you must comply with the regulations for studying abroad issued by the state examination office of Baden-Württemberg responsible for the state examinations in law (LJPA). Please look up the currently applicable requirements for a period of study abroad in the document issued by the LJPA prior to your exchange. We are happy to advise you on those requirements during our consultation hours.
You will retain the possibility of Abschichtung if two conditions are met: First, you must sit the first state examination in private law no later than upon completion of your sixth semester after studying law for an uninterrupted period of time. Second, you must sit the first state examination in public law and criminal law after only four additional semesters. This means that the period of time you spend abroad must not count towards the number of semesters you accumulate during your studies. Only then can you meet the aforementioned requirements set out by the LJPA. You can achieve that if your study visit abroad fulfills the following criteria as per section 35b subsection 3 sentence 1 of the Act on Lawyer Training and Examination of the Land of Baden-Württemberg (JAPrO):
- You are enrolled at a host university in a different country.
- You have been granted an academic leave of absence from your home university in Germany.
- You study law at your host university (this usually means, that you must be enrolled at a law school and that you take courses offered by this school. If this is not the case, the courses you take must be law-related.)
- You take courses that deal with the foreign legal system. These courses must be equivalent to a minimum of 8 credit hours or 30 ECTS credits per semester. (If the academic year is divided into trimesters, the required 60 ECTS must be distributed evenly).
- In addition, you must provide evidence of your academic achievement in at least one foreign law course per semester. You are therefore required to take and pass an examination. We accept written exams, coursework such as term papers or essays, and, by way of exception, oral exams as evidence of your academic achievement.
If all the aforementioned requirements are met, the semesters you spend abroad will not be counted towards the total number of semesters you accumulate during your program of study.
You must apply for retaining the possibility of Abschichtung immediately after you have returned to Germany. You can find the respective form on the LJPA’s website. For more information, please also refer to the information sheet provided by the LJPA (i.e., the regulations for studying abroad).
It is of utmost importance to keep the documents you must enclose with the form safe, particularly the module descriptions. The LJPA requires you to submit the original version of the transcript of records. Please request the transcript from your host university before your leave it. If you decide to retain the possibility of Abschichtung by proving that you were present in your courses during 8 credit hours per week, you yourself are responsible for having the professor confirm your presence in every unit of instruction. The best way to accomplish this is by drawing up a table which you submit to the LJPA together with all the necessary documents.
We can only recognize credits you obtained abroad if the competences you acquired at the host university do not significantly deviate from the ones you would have acquired at your home university in the courses you wish to substitute. If your credits are recognized by the University of Mannheim, you should still take part in the exercise courses because they teach you content that is mandatory for the state examination. In the exercise courses you practice writing law exams which is a fundamental pillar of preparing for the state examination.
It is possible to recognize credits obtained abroad for the beginner exercise course in public law and the beginner exercise course in criminal law. In order to pass the beginner exercise courses, you are required to hand in a piece of coursework and take an exam. You can substitute either one of them with exams or coursework you completed abroad, or you can substitute both.
Before going abroad, you must request approval of the courses you plan to take at your host university. You can find the information sheet and the required form here. After returning to Germany, you must submit a request for recognition of credits. Both requests must be submitted to the International Coordinators’ Office. Please make sure to hand in all the required documents and to comply with the specified procedure to help us process your requests as smoothly as possible. We therefore kindly ask you to keep the documents safe, most notably the module descriptions, or store all data by saving them in a suitable format.
After you have come back, we will check your documents, convert the grades awarded to you by your host institution into grades from the German grading system, and initiate the recognition of your credits by the examination committee. Please note that we need the original version of your transcript of records and the request for recognition of credits. Otherwise, we cannot complete the check. You will get back the original documents as soon as the check has been completed; a copy will be sent to Student Services. Grades obtained abroad are converted by the University of Mannheim using these conversion tables in conjunction with section 18 of the examination regulations of the integrated program in Law (LL.B.) (SPUMA). Grade transfer may take up to four weeks; please refrain from contacting Student Services with inquiries about the current status.
Please use the forms provided under Downloads only.
International Coordinators' Office | Department of Law
Schloss Westflügel – Room W 219
Fax: +49 621 181-1318
Mondays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Thursdays, 3:30–5:00 p.m.