Thirty-two students spent 32 fulfilling and enriching days this summer enrolled in CUA Law’s International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Cracow, Poland, held from June 14 to July 16.
The group (14 American and 18 Polish students) received intensive training in global aspects of modern trade and international business over the course of four weeks at Cracow’s Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest and most prestigious in Europe.
Classes, conducted in English by American and Polish law faculty, included staples like Comparative and International Trade and International Business Transactions, but also some new ones developed for the 2014 session such as Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods and Global Issues in Intellectual Property.
The long-running program is unique in many aspects. Unlike most summer abroad programs, American students are joined by a number of English-speaking law students from Polish universities who also participate. The American and Polish students attend classes together, live together and participate in all co-curricular activities together. This cross-cultural aspect of the Cracow program has resulted in many lasting friendships and business contacts.
The program emphasizes getting beyond classroom walls and, for Americans especially, learning about their host country.
Field trips generally include a tour of “Wieliczka” Salt Mine, one of the most valuable monuments of material and spiritual culture in Poland; and a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which opened in 1940 and was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps. For most students, the highlight of the weekend trips is an overnight stay in Zakopane (top photo) in the Tatra Mountains. Zakopane is Poland's best known ski resort but it also offers excellent mountain hiking and climbing.
“One of the many advantages of our program in Poland is that it also offers our students the opportunity to work as externs with branches of American, European and, particularly, Polish law firms,” notes Constantia Dedoulis, director of Institutes and Special Programs for the Columbus School of Law.
Currently, the program has permanent contact with more than 20 potential employers at the branches of large Western European and American law firms and institutions.
Even short-term externships abroad increase students’ chances to gain a mature understanding of how business is done in other countries and to obtain post graduate employment.
Students from ABA-approved U.S. law schools and foreign law schools are eligible to apply to the well-respected Cracow Summer Program. Planning is already underway for next year.