Guest article: EUCOR – a trinational master’s degree in law

Marie Georgiadis and Timon Bischofberger, students of the trinational master’s degree in law

There are several master’s degree programs in law available in Basel. Among them is Eucor, the trinational course of studies, in which the studies are divided between Basel, Freiburg and Strasbourg. Timon Bischofberger and Marie Georgiadis share their experiences about the program.

Through the Eucor network, the Upper Rhine faculties for the universities in Germany, France and Switzerland are connected, promoting teaching and research. As part of the master'’ program in law, you will study at the University of Freiburg (Germany), the University of Strasbourg and the University of Basel. You will acquire a certain number of credits at the respective universities in the corresponding languages.

After you have earned the required 90 credits, you will have three degrees: Basel will grant you the title «Master of Law», Freiburg the title «LL.M.» and Strasbourg the title «Droit et études européennes». The courses can be chosen by the students themselves and are mainly taught in German, French and English, which is ideal for those interested in gaining an international perspective in the area of law.

Marie Georgiadis “Eucor provides an ideal opportunity to stand out above the crowd.”

Marie Georgiadis, student of the trinational master’s degree in law

“Eucor provides an ideal opportunity to stand out above the crowd. Admittedly, it can be a challenge from an organisation perspective to keep track of everything because all three universities have to be organised individually. However, I still only pay tuition fees in Basel, my home university. That’s a great thing because otherwise it would be very expensive to do an LL.M. separately after graduation. Thanks to border triangle location, I commute from Basel to Freiburg. Because of the distance, I looked for housing in Strasbourg, but I think it’s also possible for people to commute.

I knew when I started law school that I wanted to do the Eucor program. There was an information event for students at that time and I was very enthusiastic about the Eucor student at that time so I decided to do this particular master’s degree program. It’s also great that I was free to decide where I want to write my master’s thesis. And so I chose Basel because I was already familiar with the modalities for writing a thesis from my bachelor studies here. But everybody is free to do it in Freiburg or Strasbourg, according to the modalities there, of course.

Exam-wise, it is pleasant that Freiburg and Strasbourg are quite considerate towards Eucor students. Everyone is afraid of the French language in Strasbourg, but it is quite doable if you are motivated. I definitely improved my French because it was the only language spoken there. In addition, the requirements in Strasbourg are much less compared to the number of credits required at the other two universities. In Strasbourg you only need eight credits for the degree. As a result, this part of the Eucor program is quite doable and should certainly not be a reason not to participate. Eucor master’s theses are usually always short master’s theses, which means that they only account for 18 credits - instead of the 30 ECTS of a longer master’s thesis. There is also no prescribed number of semesters. In some cases, the semesters at the three universities are also staggered, so that you sometimes have more or sometimes less to do, which certainly also plays a role in semester planning.

I recommend every person to try the Eucor if there is a desire to do something more offbeat. In my experience, I learned a lot about flexibility and patience. This Master is also a unique opportunity that is only offered here in Basel. There is also the Master Bilingue, but it only takes place within one country. The Eucor between three countries is simply more rewarding and exciting for me personally.”

Timon Bischofberger “Later, I will also be able to present a language certificate wherever I go because I can say that I studied mainly in English in Freiburg and in French in Strasbourg”

Timon Bischofberger, student of the trinational master’s degree in law

“I chose this master's degree because it appealed to me to be able to study at three universities and not have to move away. Last semester, I completed my master's thesis here in Basel as part of the moot court and am currently attending courses in Freiburg and Basel.

It certainly takes a bit more administrative effort than a traditional master’s, but in return I have been able to learn how to deal with such hurdles. I am now enrolled at all three universities and have the corresponding student IDs. Basel is listed as my home university. If someone decides to commute like I do, then they should make sure that the lectures are located so that it is feasible by train to get there. But we already know that from our studies here in Basel, if someone works part-time on the side and the schedule has to be aligned accordingly. Unfortunately, the Deutsche Bahn is not always on time and that is to be expected. So I recommend to make connections in such a way that there is certainly another option available at exam time, so as not to be late. There is also WiFi and you can use your time wisely and then have more free time afterwards. In addition to studying, you can of course also explore the cities. Strasbourg is known for its Christmas market and Freiburg also has a great reputation as a city definitely worth seeing.

Finally, I can only recommend that you take advantage of this unique opportunity. You stand out enormously from the crowd and get to know other universities. Even though it is organisationally time-consuming, I have three degrees as a result. Later, I will also be able to present a language certificate wherever I go because I can say that I studied mainly in English in Freiburg and in French in Strasbourg.“

Author: Christin Kunnathuparambil (University of Basel)

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