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The Semester Abroad Program is a wonderful opportunity for Harvard Law School students to receive a semester of ungraded credit towards the Harvard J.D. degree for study at a law school overseas. Studying abroad offers an experience unavailable at HLS – immersion in a foreign legal culture.

Each student has their own specific constellation of reasons for wanting to study law in a foreign setting and designs a semester abroad that meets their specific academic goals.

Some students may wish to study particular areas of law that are covered in greater depth abroad. Others may be contemplating a career with ties to a particular country or region. Others may desire a broader exposure to the civil law system.

Participants consistently report that the semester abroad experience gives them several advantages in their job searches and careers. In particular, they cite the value of first-hand knowledge of another legal system and culture; foreign language proficiency; and an extensive network of contacts around the world.

Semester Abroad Options:

  • Exchange programs: HLS students may apply for designated spots for a semester’s study at selected foreign law schools with which HLS has an exchange agreement
  • Independent semester abroad: HLS students may choose to spend an “independent” semester at any foreign law school that meets the study abroad program requirements (please see below for more information)

ILS Contacts

For questions that are not covered in the Semester Abroad pages, please contact Sara Zucker, Director of International Legal Studies Programs, at or (617) 495-9030.

Sara is available to talk to students by appointment as well as during office hours on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m when HLS classes are in session. Sara’s office is located in Suite 5005 of Wasserstein Hall.

Student Experiences