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2019 Elective Course at the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg, Germany

We landed in Germany on 1 April 1 2019 (local time) and then took the subway to the dormitory in the suburbs of Hamburg. The suburban environment of Hamburg is beautiful. Steep-roofed, well-proportioned buildings are everywhere to be seen and seem. The path at the front of the house is decorated with a variety of wild flowers. Occasionally we can hear a few German teenagers playing and laughing; their chestnut hair glittering in the sunlight. The location of the apartment is pretty good and we only need walk for about 10 minutes to the metro station and the shopping mall.

The accommodation is very clean and consists of several single rooms, a communal kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet. There are 11 students on each floor, including boys and girls. Although, everyone comes from different countries, we all get along with each other very well.

The next day, we went to the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg to attend a course on the company law. The Professor printed two copies of booklets containing course material (1000+ pages) for each student. Holding this, I realised the importance of studying the legal texts seriously as students of law.

In class, there are students from all over the world. At the end of the classroom, there is a map of the globe, and every classmate from a different country has a small flag in the position of his home country. The colourful little flags fluttered all over the world. Despite coming from different legal systems and cultural backgrounds, in the class students actively answer teachers' questions, communicate well and help each other.

Later, the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg held a welcoming party for us. The reception was filled with happy laughter and cheerful voices as we had a cordial conversation with masters students who studied there and professors who are responsible for our learning programme at the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg. They shared with us their experience living in Hamburg which benefited us greatly. At the welcome meeting, the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg also prepared a delicious lunch for us, with both Chinese and German dishes. That allowed us appreciated the taste of local German cuisine, as well as recall us the flavor of our hometown of the motherland.

On 4 April, the school took the students to visit the main campus of the University of Hamburg; the library of law school has a beautiful appearance and a rich collection of books. Books are organised methodically according to international law, EU law, national laws and various departmental laws. The librarians patiently and meticulously explained to the students the usage of the library database of the University, issued a book card to each student and showed everyone each category of the library. After seeing such a vast library with rich and innovative foreign literature, students were all very happy and hoped to be able to make full use of these books and electronic resources in the next two months, in order to better complete their European law papers. The curator also very kindly showed the students the Chinese book in the museum-President Xi Jinping series of important speech collection.

After visiting the library, we visited the campus, the tour that everyone was looking forward to. Although we all call it a campus, it does not have clear fences and boundaries. It is an open, free place that university students can all enjoy for activities. There are various subject department buildings, canteens, a variety of restaurants, cinemas and so on. The Europa-Kolleg Hamburg is free, open, youthful and orderly. After the tour we were very impressed. Over the next few days, we also toured the city of Hamburg.

The city of Hamburg makes people feel relaxed and comfortable. It often rains in Hamburg. So people often live amid drizzles, filled with the fragrance of the land. Hamburg is a city that likes to read: there are bookshelves on the bus and people rea books on the subway. Hamburg is also a polite and genteel city, that is to say no matter which street you walk down, whether it's a red or a green traffic light, vehicles will definitely slow down. So even on rainy days, it can make people feel like being surrounded by warm sunshine. The metro does not have the general security check like in China. We had not even yet encountered the ticket-checking staff (but you cannot take a subways without buying a ticket). Pigeons hop across the road. Dogs follow their owners onto public transport, into shopping malls, and around public gardens.

For junior students who will come to Hamburg next year: please remember to bring more Chinese ingredients, as fruits and vegetables in Hamburg are expensive comparatively, but milk, juice, clothes and cosmetics are cheap.

As shadows flee away, we wish we students can collect more beautiful sceneries here.

Article submitted by WANG Kangli,CHU Jingyi, HAN Xu and WANG Yueming (CESL Double Master from 2017 intake)

Translated by ZHANG Shuyuan (CESL Double Master from 2018 intake)

Edited by Caoimhe Cotter