Aad van Heusden
There is simply no better place than Rotterdam to truly experience international trade in practice.
Would you like to become a specialist or a generalist in law? I asked myself this question and it turned out to be of pivotal importance for my decision to apply for the master International Trade Law. Coming from a generalist background, namely the Mr.drs-programme (double bachelor in Law and Economics), I had been trained to have a broad understanding of various topics within the fields of law and economics. As a consequence, I considered an LL.M. programme as an unique opportunity to become a specialist in one specific area of law. It did not take much time to discover that International Trade Law was the only master’s programme that could genuinely satisfy my desire to become a specialist. The master programme distinguishes itself through its exclusive focus on international commercial law. By solely focusing on international trade and commerce, you are given the opportunity to become a true specialist instead of obtaining a rather general understanding of commercial law.
Besides, the comparative nature of the master ensures that you will gain an in-depth understanding of several influential legal systems (i.e. UK, French, German, and Belgian law) which allows you to operate internationally and not be bound to one national legal system. Handling international commercial transactions and collaborating with people from different countries forms an inherent part of the programme.
Nonetheless, the programme does require a considerable amount of time and effort. Multiple weekly writing assignments, reports, and presentations constitute the norm, and reading plenty of scientific articles is no exception.
Luckily, the excellent coordination of the programme ensures that the workload is well-structured, well-organized, and well-defined. I strongly experienced the benefits of the programme’s coordination during the writing process of my thesis. I had the honour to work with Prof. Dr. Vannerom and thanks to his supervision combined with the coordination on behalf of the law department, the thesis became the academic highlight of my master. Prof. Vannerom provided continuous support, guidance, and above all, he expressed a sincere willingness to help.
In addition, the department’s flexibility, readiness to adapt themselves to my needs, and their intensive provision of information have aided me to get the most out of my thesis. For these reasons, writing a master thesis for International Trade Law became a delight instead of a nightmare.
Consequently, my insider tip for prospective students would be: choose a master's programme that will enable you to have close contact with your professors, coordinators, and thesis supervisor. Strong personal relationships with the faculty will help you to flourish and have the best study experience. In my opinion, the master International Trade Law is best suited to provide you with this possibility.
Last but not least, if you are still not convinced based on the merits of the programme, the city of Rotterdam should give you the final push. Europe's biggest harbor is next door and numerous international companies, law firms, and banks are located in the city center. There is simply no better place than Rotterdam to truly experience international trade in practice.