Study Abroad Opportunities
Law Center students have the option of studying abroad and earning credit that counts toward their law degree. There are many professional benefits in a study abroad experience.
There are three general approaches available to Law Center students to study abroad.
Credits earned abroad may be used to meet graduation requirements, provided that certain criteria are met. Students must earn at least a “C” grade or its equivalent in the study abroad program to receive credit. After completion of the first full year of law studies (thirty semester units), Law Center students interested in study abroad under the first or third approach listed above must request permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to take courses at another law school. Required courses (i.e., all first year courses, Professional Responsibility and the senior writing requirement) must be taken in residence at the Law Center. A student must be in good standing in order to study abroad under the first or third approach.
LL.M. students may also study abroad and receive up to 6 credits towards their LL.M. Degree.
Students desiring to study abroad during a semester, under any of the approaches, should consider the additional planning ramifications necessary to be away during the semester as opposed to merely a summer-abroad program. Starting the preparations early helps in all cases, but is particularly useful for a semester abroad.
Approach One: Participating in a UHLC Exchange Program
For NACLE schools and some of the Other Exchange Agreement schools, Law Center students pay the same tuition and fees to the University of Houston that they would pay for a semester at the Law Center, but attend foreign law schools or programs. Student will need to verify tuition rates with the school they are interested in attending. Some of the foreign programs are taught in English. Some, however, require proficiency in another language.
Currently, the Law Center has established exchange opportunities with the following schools.
University of Houston Law Center and University of Calgary Faculty of Law International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP) Dual Degree JD Program
* The UH Law Center and The University of Calgary offer an International Energy Lawyers Program which allows students to earn both American and Canadian law degrees in four years. Students will spend two years at each school and take courses that will enable them to apply for admission to bars in the United States and Canada. The driving force behind the program is a shared commitment to natural resource, energy and environmental law.
NACLE comprises about a dozen participating law schools in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Law Center students have the opportunity to spend a semester at a member institute in Canada or Mexico.
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon – The Universidade Católica Portuguesa has several campuses in Portugal. Our exchange agreement is with the Faculty of Law on the Lisbon campus. The curriculum has an important European and international focus and includes courses on several areas of European Union Law, Comparative Law, Business Law and Criminal Law.
Wonkwang University College of Law, Korea – Courses in this program are offered in Korean and English. You may select from the following departments: the Departments of Law, the Department of Police, and the School of Law Administration. Students pay Wonkwang tuition.
Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Courses in this program are primarily offered Portuguese, although there are several courses taught in English by visiting scholars from around the world. The fall semester runs from August through December, while the spring semester begins in February and ends in June.
Yeditepe University Law Faculty, Istanbul – The emphasis of this program is aimed at teaching students to compete in a competitive and complex global environment. Courses are primarily taught in Turkish; however, there are a host of courses offered in English and German, in addition to several other languages.
Course descriptions for courses to be taken at the Other Exchange Agreement School, and a Law Center petition, must be submitted for approval to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in advance of the semester in question. A student must earn a minimum of a “C” in a course at a visiting institution in order to receive credit toward their Law Center degree. Grades earned at another institution will not be calculated into the student’s Law Center cumulative grade point average.
Our students also may participate in law programs offered by other American Bar Association-approved law schools around the world. Students must be admitted by the programs and are subject to the tuition and fees charged by the programs.
A list of the ABA-approved semester-abroad programs may be found at the following web-page: http://www.abanet.org/legaled/studyabroad/semester.html.
A list of summer-only study abroad programs is available at: http://www.abanet.org/legaled/studyabroad/foreign.html.
The American Bar Association permits law students to earn credit toward their J.D. degree through independent study-abroad programs. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs is pleased to assist students who want to construct an individual study-abroad plan, although the responsibility for creating such a plan rests largely with the individual student. Law Center students interested in pursuing this option should start by researching the admissions process (as a non-permanent student) at the foreign school, as well as any applicable deadlines and the potential law courses available. The next step is to schedule an appointment to speak with Associate Dean for Student Affairs to discuss your foreign study plan.
Preparing To Study Abroad
Here is a list of items to consider when preparing for a semester abroad. This list is intended only as a “starting point” for a process that is necessarily tailored to each individual student.
Law School Requirements