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Study Abroad Exchange Programs
Pace Law School has exchange relationships with some of the top law schools in Europe, Australia and South America. Under these agreements, Pace students may apply to study for a semester or even a full academic year at one of our partner schools. In many cases, classes at the host institutions are taught in English. Upon completion of the exchange semester or year, the credits earned may transfer back to Pace and count towards the JD degree. At the same time, our partner schools are sending their own students to take classes at Pace, thus increasing the diversity and richness of the classroom experience.
Students may choose from among the following institutions for their exchange semester or year:
University of Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide Law School is the second oldest law school in Australia. Located in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, the law school offers a wide variety of law courses for undergraduates, graduate students and qualified lawyers.
Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
Since its founding in 2002, FGV Law has become one of the leading private law schools in Brazil. At its Rio de Janeiro campus, students are able to take courses in numerous areas of public and private law. The language of instruction in most courses is Portuguese.
Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain
Located in Madrid, Universidad Pontificia Comillas is a Jesuit university founded in the late 19th century. Its law and business school gives students the opportunity to choose classes in English or Spanish, and even to complete an LLM in International and European Business Law during a full academic year exchange.
Eligibility for Exchange Programs
To be eligible for an exchange program, students must have completed their first year of law school and have a GPA of at least 2.8. It is strongly recommended that they complete the Pace required courses before going abroad, including Professional Responsibility, Federal Income Tax I, the Upper Class Writing Requirement and the Upper Class Skills Requirement. These requirements cannot be met with courses taken abroad.
All students considering an exchange program are expected to consult the Registrar’s Office beforehand to make sure that their proposed study abroad will allow them to fulfill all academic requirements for graduation.
Students interested in an exchange program start the process by submitting the Pace Law School Study Abroad Application and supporting documents to the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs, Preston Hall 216. They should neither contact nor apply to the foreign institution until Pace has approved this internal application.
Approval and selection for study abroad will be dependent upon several criteria including an applicant's proposed plan of study and academic achievements.
How to Apply
The following documents must be submitted to the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs, Preston Hall 216. Application deadlines are February 15 for Fall Semester programs and September 15 for Spring Semester programs.
- Application form
- Law School Transcript (an unofficial copy is acceptable)
- One letter of recommendation from a Pace Law School faculty member
- Evidence of proficiency in the language of instruction (if other than English)
- Statement of Purpose or Study Plan. This document sets forth your interest in the program and explains how the proposed study abroad experience will complement your academic and professional objectives. It should be 3 to 5 double-spaced pages in length, and make reference to specific courses and defined objectives.
Students should begin preparing materials at least one month prior to deadlines. Students will be notified by email whether they have been approved for an exchange program. After receiving approval from Pace, students may have to submit application materials to the host institution. Approval from Pace is does not ensure acceptance into an exchange program by the host institution. In the event that interest in study at a particular host institution is high, preference for participation in the exchange program will be given to equally qualified 3Ls.
When applying, please note that not all host institutions operate on the same academic calendar as Pace Law School.
Pace JD students may earn a maximum of 30 credits for study abroad. The following rules apply in order to ensure correct transfer of academic credits earned abroad:
Before going abroad, applicants must submit a Course Description Approval form for approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Along with this form, the applicant must indicate all proposed course titles, descriptions and academic credits. When signed by the Associate Dean, this document will be filed by the Registrar’s Office for reference when the student returns from abroad.
If you (i) do not obtain advance approval of your proposed courses, or (ii) obtain advance approval but then take courses different from those approved, you accept all risk that your study abroad credits might not be accepted by Pace Law School.
Academic credits are calculated according to the ABA standard by (i) counting minutes spent in class for each course taken at the host institution and (ii) converting at the rate of 700 minutes = one credit.
To receive credit, students must earn a passing grade in each course taken abroad. Note that while credits may transfer, the grades themselves do not. Therefore, grades earned abroad do not appear on a student’s Pace transcripts, nor are they counted as part of a student’s GPA.
At the host institution, students must register for the equivalent of a full-time Pace course load, using the credit calculation above, in order to fulfill residency requirements.
Courses taken abroad must not duplicate coursework taken at Pace.
- Under ABA rules, students may not receive credit for visits to legal and government institutions, except under limited circumstances. Nor may credit be granted for distance education courses or externship placements.
Under the terms of our exchange agreements, students participating in an exchange program pay their full tuition to their home institution, and do not pay tuition to the host institution. Therefore, students must continue to pay their full tuition to Pace Law School while on exchange.
All financial aid and scholarship awards will also apply for a study abroad exchange program as long as the applicable criteria for maintaining the financial aid or scholarship are met. Students may apply for financial aid to cover tuition as well as travel and living expenses for an approved semester abroad. For further information about financial aid, students should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Travel and living expenses while on exchange are solely the student’s responsibility, and can vary considerably by destination, local economic conditions and currency exchange rates. Some examples of these expenses include airfare, ground transportation, passport and visa requirements, insurance, housing, meals, books, personal expenses and any medical expenses not covered by insurance.
In order to maintain residency requirements, students must enroll at the host institution for at least the equivalent of thirteen (13) credits. Host institutions generally do not operate on the same credit system as US law schools. As stated above, academic credits are calculated by (i) counting minutes spent in class for each course taken at the host institution and (ii) converting at the rate of 700 minutes = one credit.
Students are required to maintain health insurance coverage for the duration of their overseas study and will be required to show proof of insurance prior to departure.
Students covered under the Pace policy have coverage abroad. Should medical treatment abroad be necessary, students pay out-of-pocket for services, get an itemized bill in US currency, and submit a claim upon their return. Under the Pace policy, students may also order up to a four month supply of their prescription medications prior to departure. This order must be placed at least two months in advance of their departure date. For further information, students may contact the Office of Student Services.
Students not covered by the Pace health insurance policy are strongly advised to check with their insurer before departure, as not all US health insurance policies will cover students while they are abroad.
Students may also consider arranging for specific coverage from one of the many companies offering travel medical insurance. The following list of companies specialized in travel medical insurance for exchange students is compiled by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and is provided for information only. Pace Law School does not endorse any of these companies.
HTH Worldwide (formerly Hinchcliff International)
Travel Warnings or Advisories
Students are required to check the US State Department Alerts and Warnings Website and the US State Department Country Specific Information for any travel alerts or warnings that may exist for the country or region to which they intend to travel. They should familiarize themselves with any special circumstances that could impact their safety while participating in the study abroad program.
Please refer to the Alerts and Warnings Website well in advance of your departure and continue to check back regularly for updates until your return home.
It is also advisable to participate in the US State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program during your stay abroad. This new on-line program is a more convenient alternative to the former in-person consular registration system for US citizens living or studying abroad.
Please be aware that disability accommodations may be limited or unavailable outside the United States. Mobility International USA can assist students with information.
Passport and Visas
Plan ahead to be sure you have a valid passport for travel. At a minimum, your passport should be valid for the entire study abroad period plus six months. US citizens may find complete information on obtaining a passport from the US State Department Passport Website.
Students are responsible for determining whether they need a visa in addition to their passports, and if so, applying for a visa at the appropriate consulate of the host country.
Travel Waiver Form
Pace requires students to sign a Travel Waiver and Release Form prior to participating in a foreign exchange program.