If you’re keen to add international experience and legal knowledge to your study program, UNSW Law offers two- to three-week Overseas Electives.

Fact! Overseas Electives cover a range of study areas and include opportunities to experience local culture and attractions – the best part is that it’s all credited towards your degree! 

New York, USABerkeley, California, USA 

Undertake a two-week intensive course on the Introduction to the American Legal System at the University of California, Berkeley. The course will focus principally on the study of the federal and state legal systems in the USA. It will include consideration of the primary features of the American legal system, including: US legal history; US judicial structure and operation; the US Constitution; and the legislative and administrative structure and process. 


New York, USANew York, USA 

Head off to the Big Apple for the two-week intensive course Human Rights Law in Practice. This course examines the operation of human rights law in practice in international, regional and domestic US and Australian contexts. The course draws together leading US and international human rights lawyers to provide cutting-edge case studies from US courts, regional human rights commissions and the UN system. It also provides you with doctrinal foundations in international human rights law and its incorporation into domestic law, as well as an introduction to the US Bill of Rights and civil rights law. 


Beijing, ChinaBeijing, China

Run in Beijing in conjunction with Tsinghua University Law School, this course provides an introduction to the legal system of the People's Republic of China. Emphasis is placed on modern developments in China’s commercial law, international business and economic law, and other important legal areas.


Shanghai, ChinaShanghai, China 

Study the Chinese Legal System in Shanghai. This two-week course introduces the legal system of the People’s Republic of China with particular reference to modern developments in contract and commercial law. In addition to the fascinating study of a legal system that has changed markedly in the last 30 years, students see this legal system in practice with field trips to a Chinese law firm and Chinese court. 


Port Vila, VanuatuPort Vila, Vanuatu 

Students study Pacific Islands Legal Systems at the University of the South Pacific Law School, in Port Vila. This course will introduce legal systems of the South Pacific region, and to some specific areas of Pacific law. Most Pacific Island states have gained independence in recent years, and thus their laws and legal systems are still works in progress. This course will introduce many of the issues arising in these developing legal systems, including issues of history and politics, constitutional development, recognition and application of customary law, land tenure regimes, and regional engagement between states and with outside bodies. 


Goa_IndiaGoa, India 

Undertake a 10-day intensive comparative clinical program at the beautiful beachside city of Goa, a kaleidoscopic blend of India and Portuguese culture. During the program at VM Salgaocar College of Law, students will learn about the legal framework for the protection of children’s rights internationally, in India and Australia, and will work collaboratively on comparative projects to understand the various challenges and difficulties involved in the functioning and operation of clinics in different cultural and legal contexts. Upon completion of the program, students will gain a deeper understanding of the many and complicated issues involved in child rights protection, the vital importance of community-based legal services, as well as an opportunity to experience the different cultures of the other country.


Pune, IndiaPune, India 

This course at the ILS Law College, Pune, considers the role of the law in creating and perpetuating gender inequalities. Feminist legal theory challenges the practice and theory of law and this course explores its potential to effect social transformation in select areas of women's lives. The course will trace the historical development of feminist legal theory in both India and in the West, and its modern developments, including key concepts such as formal and substantive equality, the public/private divide, intersections between categories such as race, class, caste and gender, and it explores theories of universalism and cultural relativism. The course will also examine a range of substantive issues relevant to Indian society, including child marriage, dowry and sex-selection, and a range of issues relevant to both Indian and Australian society, including family relationships, sex work, economic empowerment of women and violence against women. The course aims to assist students to develop skills in critical thinking and it builds core skills that students need to examine gendered constructions of law and how those constructions lead to inequality and discrimination. It will be taught using an active learning approach and there will also be two field trips to local organisations in Pune. 


Santiago, ChileSouth America 

Transitional Justice in International and Comparative Perspectives explores the legal and other regulatory dimensions of transitions from dictatorships to democracies – from comparative and international perspectives. Studying in Brazil, a country that experienced and emerged from one of the most brutal military dictatorships of the 20th century, students are given unique insight into how transitional justice processes happen on the ground, and can consider the legal, social and political dimensions of transitional justice. 


Zurich, SwitzerlandZurich, Switzerland 

Law and Technology: Comparative Perspectives is taught in partnership with one of Switzerland’s leading universities – the University of Zurich, and UNSW Law. The host university alternates so that UNSW students attend class with students from the University of Zurich in Switzerland one January, and eighteen months later Swiss students come to UNSW in August. This course explores the interaction between law and technology, introducing students to the potentially problematic relationship between legal rules and technological change. Students engage with legal issues arising at the technological frontier across a range of legal and technological contexts. It links theories of law and technology, technology regulation and intellectual property with practical problem-solving activities.
Please note in 2020 this course will be taught in Sydney at UNSW with students from the University of Zurich traveling to Sydney.  

Interested in overseas exchange?

Study overseas on an international exchange at leading law schools around the world!

How to apply

For a current list of overseas electives visit myLaw or contact Law Student Services


I chose to go on the Zurich Overseas Elective as it was a great opportunity to travel and study in an area I am passionate about.  Concepts of technology are increasingly becoming commonplace in law. While a lot of focus is placed on innovation, less is placed on the substantive legal issues that may arise. This course explored those issues from the perspective of three jurisdictions – Australia, Europe and the US. It was particularly valuable to consider alternate perspectives, because the place of technology in law is much more mature in overseas jurisdictions. By the end of the trip, we had canvassed multiple issues that will no doubt become relevant in Australia in the near future.

Adrian Agius, Commerce/Law student