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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - International Dispute Resolution

Class of 2017/2018


Bronte Hannah (Australia)




What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?


I discovered my passion for IDR in the last year of my Bachelor, when I took electives in alternative dispute resolution and international arbitration. In 2016 I participated in the Humboldt University International Summer School on Alternative Dispute Resolution, where I saw a poster for the IDR master program. I actually had to read the poster 3 times to believe it - the program was exactly what I wanted to do after I had finished my Bachelor! My further research only motivated me even more and I was very happy that my application was successful.


What do you hope to gain from the master's degree?


As I want to pursue a career in IDR, I hope to finish the program with the necessary fundamentals: a sound and well-rounded theoretical knowledge, some basic practical skills and a good list of international contacts.


How do you feel about the atmosphere within the program?


Our "LL.M Family" consists of 29 students from 19 different countries who support and learn from each other every day. Together we enjoy classes with professors and guest lecturers who are not only experts in the field, but who are also enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge. Last but certainly not least we have the support of the friendly administrative team who works hard behind the scenes to make sure the course runs smoothly.


The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?


So far I have had an enjoyable and enriching learning experience. Passionate lecturers and lively class discussions have left me eager for the rest of the program. My only criticism is that the first semester went by way too quickly!


How do you feel about living and studying in Berlin?


Berlin is such a wonderful and unique city; rich with history but at the same time buzzing with new ideas. It is full of diverse people from all over the world just doing their own thing. I encourage you to come and find out first hand what it is like to live and study here. The experiences you have and the people you meet are bound to stick with you for the rest of your life.

Humboldt University is right in the middle of the city and the law building is really impressive - perfect for taking photos for the folks back home.


Where do you see your professional future?


IDR is full of fascinating niches which has left me feeling a bit like a kid in a candy store - I don't even know which continent I want to work on! Ideally I would like to begin my career with a firm which caters to as many stages and areas of IDR as possible, in order to determine which niche I would like to specialise in, if at all.


Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?


The program provides exposure to the highest calibre of IDR professionals and invaluable experience in working in an international environment - an aspect of the course I didn't consider when applying but which has turned out to be one of the highlights for me!





Balaji Harish Iyer (India)


What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?


The world grows smaller each day, with more international contractual transactions happening on a daily basis. International businessmen are concerned for timely, and efficient dispute resolution, while preserving their business relationships. This has created a market for lawyers that are trained in international business, and bear in mind the delicate relationships, both contractual and non-contractual. Since my days in law school, I have been interested in alternate dispute resolution. Later on, as a practitioner with a small exposure to these disputes and their resolution, I felt the International Dispute Resolution Master’s program would equip me to become more involved in the resolution of business disputes.



What do you hope to gain from the master's degree?


The lecturers of the program are recognised practitioners and renowned academicians, from whom I hope to learn as much as possible. In India, even government corporations include dispute resolution clauses under the rules of international institutions like the London Court of International Arbitration, or Singapore International Arbitration Centre. There is a lacuna in the law. I hope that the Master’s degree opens doors that will expose me to international institutional work abroad, that will later enable me to create one of a similar class in my home country.


The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?


The first semester has been very challenging, with an intense schedule of lectures and an exhaustive preparation for the exams. I was happy to interact with the regular professors and special lecturers and learn a lot of substance from them. It was also a pleasure interacting with my friends in the program, and understand their legal backgrounds, and think about how one can harmonise our varying approaches.


How you feel about living and studying in Berlin?


Berlin is an outstanding, yet understated global capital. The cultural and historical background is quite similar to India, and yet different enough to enhance my experience. I have taken the time to visit some of the amazing museums, planetarium, churches, and parks. It is impossible to get bored in Berlin! It is easy to become involved in the cultural heritage of the city, and adopt it as a home for the length of the program, and maybe beyond. I find Berliners to be very friendly, and helpful, for the most part. It is an advantage to know a little bit of German, of course, but it is not an absolute barrier.


Where do you see your professional future?


I see myself working in international arbitration institutions for a few years, before trying to establish a similar institution in India. I want to dedicate my future to research in this field, and see how best my countrymen - from big business people, to government corporations, to the common Indian - can be helped. future working as a lawyer in international disputes. I hope this Master’s degree opens some doors in Europe, and in a few years from now enable me to go back to India in order to contribute to my country.


Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?


There are quite a few reasons to recommend this program to other students: the quality of professors and special lecturers is outstanding; friends and colleagues are intelligent, and bring a flavour from their own backgrounds, which broadens one’s horizons and understanding; Berlin is a melting pot of culture, history, and cuisine; being outside one’s comfort-zone and adjusting to a different culture is important to enable one’s personal growth; and lastly, the real friendships that are established will certainly transcend one’s lifetime.