Berkeley Today Stories

Study abroad students at Berkeley College in New York City

Students From Mexico Learn About U.S. Legal System Through Berkeley College Study Abroad Program



Study abroad students in a Berkeley College classroom


Arturo Patrón is pursuing a law degree in Mexico. But what he learned in July in a New York City classroom has ignited his interest in intellectual property law and given him an international perspective.

Mr. Patrón is one of 21 students from Universidad Anáhuac Mayab in Merida, Yucatán, Mexico, who participated in an inbound study abroad opportunity at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan. The week-long legal curriculum covered topics in immigration law, international business, and leadership.

“The U.S. legal system is very interesting to me,” said Adolfo Calderón Sabido, another student in the program pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration in Mexico. “I’ll be able to apply many of the things I’m learning here in my country.”

At one event, the Mexican students, many of whom are already working in law and the private sector, networked with professionals from the U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other agencies who spoke about topics in cyber-crime and cyber-security.

“Because of the proximity of our countries, it’s useful for these students to know how the U.S. legal system works,” said Shaun Winter, Professor, Legal Studies, Berkeley College School of Professional Studies, who shared experiences from his career with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

With help from an interpreter, Mr. Winter discussed cyber threats that cross international borders, including terrorism, identity theft and child endangerment.

Richard Olivieri, J.D., Professor, Legal Studies, Berkeley College School of Professional Studies, said exposure to international law opens career paths, giving the students an edge in their home country.

“The world is a much smaller place today,” said Mr. Olivieri, a 21-year veteran of the Berkeley College faculty. “Our countries have a lot more in common than you might think.”

Absalón Álvarez Escalante, Director of the Universidad Anáhuac’s Law School, agreed.

“This is a great experience for our students, who are already well prepared to participate in international business or to work in collaboration with law enforcement,” he said. “There is an opportunity for partnership both ways between the United States and Mexico.”

This is the third year the University has enrolled students in the Berkeley College program.

The inbound Study Abroad program at Berkeley College began in 2007 with a class of 31 students. This year, the program welcomed more than 400 international students from countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Norway, and Denmark for abbreviated study abroad programs. The College projects that it will enroll more than 500 international students in the Study Abroad program in 2017.

“The Study Abroad program has made Berkeley College a global name,” said Manuel Correa, Ph.D., Berkeley College Academic Head of Noncredit International Programs, adding that curriculums vary from business to legal studies to fashion. “Programs like this strengthen international relations and global commerce, and there is no better place for these students to learn than at the center of it all in New York City.”

Study abroad students at Berkeley College in New York City

More International News: In April 2016, Berkeley College partnered with Fresenius University of Germany, offering a designated space for the University’s international program in New York City. Click here to learn more.