Social and Cultural Activities
The Program begins with a complimentary bus tour of Berlin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 20. The tour will provide an opportunity to meet other students and get an overview of the city. It begins and ends at the Humboldt Law Faculty. The Program's opening reception will be at the Law School immediately following the tour at approximately 6 p.m. There will be ample food, beverages, New Orleans music, and the opportunity to become acquainted with other participants and the faculty.
There will be scheduled tours of the Chancellery, the Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial and other interesting sites during the Program. Museum Night is scheduled on the first Thursday evening when Berlin museums are open to the public without admission charges. Also, two prominent German law firms host lovely receptions for students and faculty.
A loosely organized soccer match and beach volleyball games (no skill required to participate!) are scheduled on two afternoons after class, followed by visits to traditional German beer gardens. The Program's annual cruise on the river Spree and canals encircling Berlin’s center is scheduled on the evening of July 31 (to be confirmed). Family members and friends are cordially invited to participate in all Program activities except the academic course.
On many evenings Christian Hartwig, one of the German faculty members and the Program's social director par excellence, leads student expeditions into different Berlin neighborhoods for walks, dinners at neighborhood restaurants, and almost always a bar review, i.e. a gathering of the students at a neighborhood nightspot. The location and time of the bar review is posted each day for those students who want to join the group later in the evening.
There are no classes or other academic obligations during the weekend between the negotiation and mediation weeks. The Program offers a number of voluntary social activities for the students during that weekend (a bike tour of Berlin, visits to flea markets and local fairs, and a techno club party), but students have complete freedom to plan their own weekend activities.
For a day trip, Potsdam, a city adjacent to Berlin, contains the magnificent Sanssouci Palace and gardens, which was the summer residence of Prussian royalty. Potsdam is also the site of the famous Truman/Churchill/Stalin conference at the end of World War II and the Wannsee House where the Nazis planned the extermination of the Jewish people. The Wannsee House has been converted into a fascinating and quite emotion-provoking historical education center. Also, the town of Dresden is not far from Berlin and is easily accessible by train as a day trip. Amsterdam, Prague, and many other European cities are also easy to reach by air or overnight train.
Otherwise, Berlin is, of course, full of truly remarkable museums. Students may want to visit one of them, go to the movies (the Sony Cinemaxx in the Sony Center has 15 theaters that show the original English-language versions of first-run movies) or otherwise relax over the weekend.
A calendar of activities will be given to the students upon arrival in Berlin.