After what seemed to be a never ending winter, it looks like Summer has finally arrived! For the next two months, this means that life in the Peace Palace will revolve around the Summer Courses of The Hague Academy of International Law. On Monday July 8th, 336 students from all over the world will arrive in The Hague to attend the sessions of the Public International Law course.  For many students it will be their first time in The Hague and finding your way around the city can be quite a challenge! Fortunately, there will be three lovely ladies  to lend their support and give you a helping hand when you need one! Find out who they are and what they have to say.

Ms. Monique Legerman

The Hague Academy’s Summer Courses will start again next week and everyone is running around to ensure that all the last details are taken care of. Monique Legerman, Registration and General Affairs Officer, has been the main contact person for attendees as well as invited lecturers throughout the preceding months to provide them with all relevant practical information. The more the Courses’ start date approaches, the more the excitement and nervousness tend to mount all around. Students are worried about last-minute health insurance coverage and whether their requested visas will be delivered; Invited lecturers submit the last draft of their course outlines and their Power Point presentations to the Peace Palace Library’s e-learning environment, which was specifically created for Academy attendees. The most gratifying part of the job for Monique is to finally meet and interact with all the different students and world-renowned lecturers when they come together in the summer. “It’s incredibly touching to notice that teaching a course at the Academy can sometimes have even the most established  legal experts shaking in their boots before stepping onto the podium for their first class”, she comments.

Ms. Sophie de Seze

Sophie de Seze works as the Communication & Publications Officer for the Academy. She has studied law during the last century and was especially interested in Asylum and Migrants Law back then. Originally from France, she’s worked at the Academy for 5 summers and has been living in Zuid Holland for 6 years. As for the summer courses, she is in touch with the attendees regarding the receptions at the embassies, the sale of the Recueil des cours and welcomes the students at the main desk in the Hall during the summer; she also has been in contact with different museums, cinemas, etc. to propose special discounts in The Hague to the attendees. Sophie is in contact with the professors to whom she provides guidelines for the redaction of the manuscript they will deliver to the Academy after the courses and stays in contact with them through the whole process of publication. She also takes care of the organization of the Centre of Research and of the External Programme. “I always find the summer courses the most lively, enjoyable and exhausting part of the year!” she says, adding: “Each summer is different, but being able to meet individuals from around 100 different countries every year remains a unique and unforgettable human experience”.

Ms. Merula Oomen (Accomodation)

To assist the participants of the Hague Academy in finding a nice place to stay for a reasonable price, I have a long list of host families. These host families have every year with great pleasure lodgers coming over from all over the world. And out of this hospitality many warm friendships are born. The lodgers pay a little amount to their host family to compensate the costs, what makes it even more attractive for the host families. If you might be interested to become a host family in the future as well, just let me know. You may choose if you prefer boys or girls and you may also mention your preference for a certain part of the world (Africa, South America, China or what ever). In the autumn and winter I will pay a visit to the new host families to get to know them, to introduce myself and to explain all details. After that I start with the paper work, providing all participants with a nice place in a host family according to the wishes of the students and the host families. That is always quite a complicated job but once the work is done and the participants all arrive over here in the summer, it always turns out to be a great success and usually both parties seem to be very happy to have met each other!

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