Exchange Students On Campus

 Every year, Notre Dame Law School welcomes students from top law schools abroad to study on Notre Dame’s main campus as part of our exchange programs. These law students from foreign jurisdictions with different legal systems bring valuable perspectives into our classrooms. At the same time as these exchange students inspire enriching discussions about comparative law, they also learn the reasoning that underlies U.S. legal rules and the U.S. legal system. Participating in our J.D. program gives law students in exchange the opportunity to gain deep knowledge of U.S. law while strengthening their knowledge of law in their home jurisdiction and at the supranational and international levels in a comparative perspective.

Click on these links to learn more about Notre Dame Law School’s student exchange programs.

Questions? Contact Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Acting Director of International and Graduate Programs, at fcaponig@nd.edu or 574-631-9530.

Eligibility

To be eligible to enroll at Notre Dame Law School as an exchange student, the student’s home institution must have an exchange agreement with Notre Dame Law School. Exchange students may study at Notre Dame for one semester or for a full year, depending on Notre Dame’s agreement with their home institution. In addition, depending on their home institution, students may need to have completed at least two years of their law program prior to the commencement of their exchange. 

Notre Dame Law School has exchange agreements with the following institutions:

Admissions Process

After a student has been nominated by his or her home institution to participate in an exchange program with Notre Dame Law School, the student will submit an application with required supplementary materials to the Law School’s International and Graduate Programs team . 

Students are asked to complete an online application form, as well as provide the International and Graduate Programs team with the following documents:

  • A current academic transcript (in English or with an accompanying translation)
  • A nominating letter from the home institution
  • An English proficiency exam score
    • Required unless your native language is English
    • TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English all accepted
  • One- to two-page statement describing your desire to attend NDLS
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation from a current professor 
  • Separate but brief statement indicating your desired courses of study at NDLS
    • Please note that we will do our best to accommodate your requested courses, but we cannot make guarantees at this time due to potential space limitations.

Please contact International and Graduate Programs at globallaw@nd.edu if you have questions about the Admissions Process. 

Visa Process

After an exchange student has been admitted to Notre Dame Law School, the International and Graduate Programs Office will begin assisting the student with obtaining a student visa.

In order for an exchange student to obtain their J-1 student visa, each student will need to receive a DS-2019 certificate from the University of Notre Dame.  Before the DS-2019 certificate is issued, a student must provide: 

  • A copy of their passport photo page
  • A completed International Exchange Student Information Form (2 pages)
  • Financial documentation demonstrating that the student will have the necessary financial support for the duration of your educational program. (For exchange students, this amount represents one semester’s worth of fees/costs at NDLS minus the cost of tuition.) 
    • Whether a student has a financial sponsor or intends to support themselves, they should please provide bank statement(s), a letter from a bank, or a letter and a bank statement from a person or organization that will provide the student with financial support. The student will need to provide proof of support in the amount of $10,325 ($5,050 for room and board, $875 for books and supplies, plus $4,400 for personal expenses including transportation costs) for each semester that the student will be in residence. Please note that these amounts reflect an estimation of your expenses while actual costs to the student vary on a case-by-case basis. 

After receiving the above information from an admitted exchange student, the Notre Dame Law School International and Graduate Programs team will submit the same, with the exchange student’s admission letter, to Notre Dame’s International Student and Scholar Affairs to be processed. Once ISSA provides the Law School International and Graduate Programs team with the admitted exchange student’s visa application, the International and Graduate Programs team will mail the DS- 2019 certificate via UPS so that the student  may take it to an American consulate when to apply for their J-1 student visa.

There  should be enough time to complete your visa documents prior to your making travel arrangements 

If you have specific questions related to your visa and accompanying paperwork, please contact Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Acting Director of International and Graduate Programs, at fcaponig@nd.edu.

Health Insurance 

Please be aware that the University of Notre Dame requires students to maintain a comprehensive health and repatriation insurance policy for the duration of their participation in the exchange program.  Unless a student opts out of the University's health insurance plan, they will be automatically enrolled in – and charged forthe University-sponsored health insurance plan.

A student may provide NDLS with proof of their current health insurance coverage for review if they believe their current coverage meets the criteria outlined by University Health Services (UHS). Later, a student will be required to formally apply for a health insurance waiver through UHS after they  enroll at NDLS.

Housing

Exchange students may request on-campus graduate student housing through Notre Dame International or through Fischer Graduate Residences. Space may be limited, especially for exchange students arriving for the spring semester, so it is recommended that exchange students submit the admission application materials listed above in a timely matter. Quick responses and cooperation with the Law School Admissions Office will help ensure on-campus housing is available.

Exchange students who prefer to live off-campus will find a variety of options near Notre Dame and within walking or biking distance of the Law School. Visit offcampus.nd.edu for more information.

Current Student Profiles

Leen Tomas V

Tomás Leen | Exchange Student

Tomás Leen is an international exchange student from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He is due to graduate in the class of 2022, and hopes to use his degree to either practice at home in Ireland or in the United States, or to explore law-related opportunities in other fields, such as sports and entertainment. He is particularly interested in Constitutional law and legal philosophy.
O Donnell Ben V

Ben O'Donnell | Exchange Student

Ben O’Donnell  is an international exchange student from Trinity College, University of Dublin in Ireland. He is currently due to graduate in the LL.B class of 2022. Ben has a particular interest in corporate law and finance, and intends to practice as a solicitor in those areas in either Dublin or London after graduation.