Where possible, the faculty blends in company visits and moot courts that complement the courses that you are following at that time.
My name is Aaron Nagtegaal and I am 23 years old. I grew up near Rotterdam where I am currently still residing. In 2015 I started my bachelor of Law at Erasmus University. Therefore, it was only natural that I would choose a master programme at Erasmus University too. The master Commercial Law has four different specialisations: Commercial and Company Law, International Arbitration and Business Law, International Trade Law and Maritime and Transport Law. As hard as it was for me to choose which bachelor I wanted to study, as easy it was for me to choose my master. A minor on shipping, an exchange period in Athens and an internship at a law firm really paved the way for choosing the Maritime and Transport Law programme.
As one of only a few Dutch students in the programme it was quite new for me doing an international master even though I had already done a semester abroad. However, the master’s introductory course is structured in a way that really helps students to get used to the pace of the year or rather the pace of assignments and deadlines which you will get used to (eventually). I found the regular courses quite challenging but very doable if you put in the work. Even without mandatory attendance you are forced to familiarise yourself with the course substance in order to complete assignments that count towards your final grades. This encourages students to attend lectures anyway which I always enjoyed. Since our programme consisted of just under 30 students this created a very personal atmosphere as opposed to the lectures in the introductory course with all four specialisations consisting of maybe 150 students in total.
Besides that, there is also the master’s student association, the Trade and Transport Law Association (TTLA), helping students as much as possible. I even got a job through TTLA early in the year and eventually went on to become the association’s treasurer. This gave me a chance to help organise events such as company visits and social drinks together with my fellow board members. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic cut the year short and shattered plans for a career day which we had planned for all students in March. On the other hand, when concerns grew among students that graduation might get delayed, the university fortunately acted quickly and provided online lectures and online exams for all courses.
If you are interested in maritime and transport law, this programme is definitely worth it. Where possible, the faculty blends in company visits and moot courts that complement the courses that you are following at that time. Furthermore, monthly social drinks, karaoke nights and even online pub quizzes from the student association make sure you keep in touch with students from all four specialisations. For internationals, the university’s international office will be very helpful as it was also very helpful for me when I was in Athens for my exchange semester. Finally, do not let the COVID-19 pandemic keep you from pursuing this master’s degree as the university has implemented lots of digital tools to help students get through the year.