Faculty of Law

Rewarding collaboration with Penn State Law

The Faculty of Law offers American students study places that are combined with internships in Bergen to make the Faculty more attractive to American students.

One of Penn State Law's buildings
Penn State Law
Nathalie Gaulier

Main content

This semester, American student Tucker Andersson is studying at the Faculty of Law in Bergen, while also holding an internship in the legal department of Bergen Teknologioverføring AS (BTO), the technology transfer office in Bergen. The scheme is part of a collaboration project the Faculty of Law entered with BTO and Pennsylvania State University in 2014. The project is funded by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education.

The international coordinator at the Faculty of Law, Nathalie Gaulier, hopes that more companies will sign on to this scheme in time, so that the Faculty can offer internships in Bergen for more international students.

– A portfolio of available internships would be advantageous for us in the agreements we have with existing and potential partners especially in the USA, and would contribute to ensuring a mutual exchange of students with American universities, explains Gaulier.


That little extra

Part of the background for the collaboration between the Faculty of Law, Penn State Law and BTO is that the Faculty of Law wants more American students in Bergen. Penn State Law is attractive to Norwegian students, and every semester several law students from the University of Bergen (UiB) travel to study there. However, the goal of all exchange agreements is for the exchange to be mutual, which has turned out to be especially challenging in relation to the American partner universities.

– American students are more hesitant to go on exchange, and they are often looking for "that little extra" when deciding where to go, notes Gaulier.

"That little extra" can be an internship, which Tucker was offered this semester. He is very satisfied with the scheme so far.

– My semester in Bergen has been a great mixture of autonomy and adaptation. The Norwegian legal education puts a premium on independent research and study, and the internship with BTO puts me in a position to use my legal research and writing skills in wholly independent drafting projects. Living in Bergen inspires good study habits, and working at BTO refines the skills necessary for success in transactional law. I can't overstate what an excellent experience it has been, Tucker says.


Research collaboration

The collaboration project between the universities has also led to a closer academic collaboration between researchers in Bergen and at Penn State Law.  In this project, the collaboration is on Intellectual Property Rights, which made BTO a relevant partner in the project.

Earlier this month, several UiB staff visited Penn State Law. The programme included workshops and lectures by both UiB and Penn State faculty, and the visitors from Bergen also learnt about the technological tools Penn State Law uses in its teaching. Penn State is a leading university within technology in the classroom –  yet another reason why  the Faculty of Law wants closer collaboration. The Vice Dean for Digitalization, Knut Martin Tande, was impressed by some of the solutions they were shown during the visit.

– Penn State’s technical solutions are advanced, particularly the infrastructure for video transfer between the various campuses. The solutions are integrated in the interior, with microphones in every seat and multiple cameras that can zoom in on each individual student. In this way the footage is more vibrant and student active. We want a similar system here at the faculty so that we can transfer our teaching to other universities and colleges, Tande explains.

This article is translated by Amesto Translations.