ILF Students went on a Field Trip to Berlin from 23 to 26 May 2024

ILF students and staff embarked on a memorable field trip to the bustling city of Berlin from 23 to 26 May 2024. This enriching journey coincided with a vibrant week in Berlin, marked by the 75th anniversary celebration of the German Grundgesetz (Basic Law), a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, highlighting the city’s political significance and the DFB Pokal final. The atmosphere was electric, with the city very much alive with football fans and cultural festivities.

The trip began early Thursday morning as our students and staff boarded the ICE train from Frankfurt. The excitement was evident as they checked into the Generator Berlin Mitte Hostel in the early afternoon, gearing up for interesting days ahead. Shortly after settling in, the group went on a guided walking tour of Berlin led by expert tour guides who provided a comprehensive overview of the city's rich historical tapestry, exploring iconic landmarks and delving into the complex history of Germany and Berlin. The educational walk concluded at Restaurant Baret where our students gathered for a welcome dinner, which was graced by the presence of Prof. Dr. Alexander Thiele, an esteemed expert in State Theory and Public Law, particularly in Constitutional and European Law, and Meinolf Sprink, Director of Fans/Community from Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH, enhancing the evening with their insights and experiences.

The restaurant provided a breathtaking view of Berlin’s skyline, adding an extraordinary ambience to the evening, where everyone could unwind and connect in a relaxed setting after an exciting day.

On the next day, the group visited the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where it received a warm welcome from Dr. Gerrit M. Beckhaus, Blagoy Penchev, and their team of IT specialists Adriaan Schakel, Fillipe Galiza, Ramesh Kumar, and Bork Morfaw. The session highlighted the intersection of legal practices with cutting-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning, demonstrating Freshfields’ commitment to the use of digital innovation in the legal field. During the networking lunch, our students had the valuable opportunity to learn more about the work of professionals at the crossroads of law and technology.

The educational agenda continued in the afternoon with a visit to the Hessian State Representation. Dr. Martin Klonowski introduced the students to the intricate roles and functions of state representations in federal governance, providing a firsthand look at the political processes and the enduring spirit of the Hessian people.

Saturday was a day of cultural immersion. Some students decided spend the day discovering more of Berlin while others decided to visit Sanssouci, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, celebrated for its stunning Rococo architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. A few others chose the thrill of watching German football at the DFB Pokal Finale held at the Olympic Stadium. The atmosphere in the stadium was overwhelming with passionate fans and a palpable sense of excitement, offering our students a firsthand experience of one of Germany's most beloved sports.

The trip concluded on Sunday, with our students returning to Frankfurt enriched by new knowledge and experiences. This field trip not only broadened the students’ academic horizons but also provided them with invaluable networking opportunities, leaving a profound impact on all attendees.