David Betancourt in Aula Magna at Stockholm University. Photo: private
David Betancourt in Aula Magna at Stockholm University. Photo: private


After having studied in Paris, David wanted to move to a country where English is the language of instruction at the Master’s level and also get opportunities for global practice in the field of law. 

“The Department of Law at Stockholm University has a really original normative approach to creative and independent legal reasoning and arguing and I think that is crucial for legal practice,” says David.

“I wanted to study in Sweden because it is a country where everyone speaks English and because right now Sweden is the best place in Europe for innovation and creative thinking. I think Sweden is a good country to live in, especially when it comes to things like the environment, the nature and the quality of the water. The winters are too long for my preferences, but you can swim in the many lakes in the summer,” he explains.

The good mix of different people and the University’s connection to the Nobel Prize were some of the reasons for choosing Stockholm.

“Stockholm is a multicultural city and it is a privileged location to live in. You get to listen to so many interesting people here. The smartest people in the world gather in Stockholm every year for the Nobel Prize Awards and you can listen to them speak in the aula here on campus,” says David.

His first Master’s thesis was about trade, proposing changes to a number of EU laws. He then went on to work with international political economy and fair trade issues in Brussels for a year, and then decided to pursue another Master’s programme at Stockholm University, this time a programme in European intellectual property law.

“I wanted to specialise on reforms of international agreements, like the TRIPS agreement on intellectual property law in the international trading system. As a law student at Stockholm University you get to be creative and think of legal reforms that we have to add to the current system, not only in the legal area, but also in the political and economic areas.”

Back in Stockholm, David registered the independent multidisciplinary network ELITSD -Centre for International Economic Law, Innovation and Trade for Sustainable Development, which focuses on advising traditionally underserved countries. ELITSD has also arranged activities at home, such as a seminar on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development RIO +20 with the UN legal advisor, which was open to the public.

David has his mind set on an international career and thinks that an advantage with living in Stockholm is that there are many international associations in the city of Stockholm and a lot of networking opportunities.

“I really liked the cross-discipline approach to sustainable development at Stockholm University. In the future I would like to continue working towards achieving the sustainable development goals.”

Text and interview: Tina Larsson