International Studies & Programs

Why Michigan?

Really, why Michigan?

Defined by its beauty, inside and out. From its four, distinct seasons, to its automotive industry past, Michiganders have great pride living in Pure Michigan.

Whether you want to explore clean, expansive beaches and coastline, or discover art in urban centers, Michigan has a lot to offer. Centrally located, the Michigan State University campus is no more than a few hours drive to the freeing, green national parks of Northern Michigan, the busy city streets of Chicago or the professional sports powerhouse of Detroit.

The American Semester Program is designed to provide not just an American experience, but also a look into Michigan life in a unique, Midwestern US State.

On the American Semester Program, students enjoy planned excursions to places that exemplify what being a Spartan and Michigander is all about!

We have compiled a list of popular attracts both in and around Michigan.


332 - Matilda Elaine Bracher.jpgCamping and Recreation

Michigan takes recreation serious. With more than 11,000 inland lakes and 19 million acres of forests, Michigan is home to some of the most unique opportunities for enjoying the outdoors.

Some of the most popular things Michiganders do are: hiking, fishing, camping, golfing and even snowmobiling.

Home to both state and national parks, Michigan has something everyone can enjoy.


IMG_3707.JPGChicago, IL

While Chicago is not in the state of Michigan, it is very much a favorite destination for Michiganders wanting to get away for a long weekend to experience a big, international city. Known as the "Windy City", Chicago is home to the Msueum of Science and Industry, the Adley Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium and more. Chicago is also well-known for its plentiful restuarant culture and nightlife. Oh, and did we mention sports?

Most semester students take advantage of Chicago during one of many weekends.


ALC-Detroit.jpgDetroit, MI

From the home of the auto industry, to the city known as Motown, Detroit has a rich, vibrant culture that is still evolving to this day.

Quick day trips to sporting events, concerts and museums are very easy from East Lansing, with both train and bus routes heading directly downtown. On any given day there is something new and exciting in Detroit!


Michigan-State-Capitol-buil.jpgLansing, MI

As the state Capitol, Lansing is a very rich city with neighborhoods, shopping centers, restaurants and pubs. While the center of Lansing houses blocks of government buildings, including the State Supreme Court and Congress, areas like Old Town are really where the city thrives.

Lansing is a bus ride from campus!


22293705046_124aaeced0_b.jpgLake Michigan

Who would have known that only 1.5 hours separates you from the clean, white sandy shores of Lake Michigan? Known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan has more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of coastline with some of the most pure freshwater lakes in North America.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most popular attractions on the lakeshore.


10 - Sven Harald Beckmann.JPGMackinac Island (Northern Peninsula)

Comprised of traditional, authentic Americana and Michigan culture, Mackinac Island welcomes visitors from all around the world to experience a piece of history.

Enjoy horseback riding, water sports and even tours of Fort Mackinac right after you eat some Mackinac Island fudge.

A fun note: no automobiles are allowed on the island!


49---Matilda-Elaine-Bracher.jpgSporting Events

While Michigan State is the home of the Spartans, Michigan itself is a sports powerhouse. From basketball and baseball, to football and hockey, Michiganders are fortunate to have Detroit as home to some of the nation's most recognized sports teams!

Also, don't forget about Chicago - just a few hours away.


Students visiting Toronto Fall 2016.jpgToronto, Canada

Toronto is more of a commitment to get to, but is well worth the distance! Michigan is lucky enough to have two ports of entry into Canada: Port Huron and Detroit.

With a distance as small as 0.5 miles (0.8 km) between Michigan and Canada, it's an easy passage to another country for an extended weekend, with students taking public transport or even flying "internationally" from Lansing or Detroit!

Learn more about Toronto here.

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