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Why Michigan?

Really, why Michigan?

From its four distinct seasons, to its automotive industry past, Michiganders are very proud to live 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, Michigan State University is no more than a few hours drive to the state and national parks of Northern Michigan, the busy city streets of Chicago, or the professional sports hub of Detroit.

The American Semester Program is designed to provide not just an American experience, but also, a look at the unique Midwestern American culture.

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

Below are some popular activities and attractions in and around Michigan.

332 - Matilda Elaine Bracher.jpgCamping and Recreation

Michigan takes recreation seriously. 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 all that the outdoors has to offer.

Some of the most popular Michigan pastimes include hiking, fishing, camping, golfing and even snowmobiling.

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

IMG_3707.JPGChicago, Illinois

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 and experience a big, international city. Known as the "Windy City", Chicago is home to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Adley Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium and more. Chicago is also well-known for its plentiful restaurant culture and nightlife. Oh, and did we mention sports?

Many students choose to explore the city through a weekend trip to explore all that Chicago has to offer.

ALC-Detroit.jpgDetroit, Michigan

As the home of the American auto industry and the city of music (known as Motown), Detroit has a unique, rich, vibrant culture that is still evolving to this day.

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

Michigan-State-Capitol-buil.jpgLansing, Michigan

As the state Capitol, and MSU's neighbor, Lansing is a city with a rich history full of 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 short bus ride from campus!

22293705046_124aaeced0_b.jpgLake Michigan

Who would have known that only a 1.5 hour drive 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.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, over 100 lighthouses along the coast, and quaint Michigan coastal towns are some 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.

Take a short boat ride from Mackinaw City to the island. Spend the day horseback riding, bike riding, or even tour the historical Fort Mackinac right after you eat some world famous Mackinac Island fudge.

A fun note: Automobiles are not permitted 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.