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Discover Michigan with the Visiting International Professional Program

Published: Thursday, 01 Jun 2017
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

The Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) at Michigan State University (MSU) is pleased to announce that we are offering a new course titled "Discovering Michigan" during the summer 2017 semester. International visitors are amazed by Michigan's natural beauty upon their arrival to the state, and quickly call it their home away from home. Although our VIPP participants can explore this charming state on their own, we often find that everyone's experience is more fun and educational when we explore together!

There is a lot to discover about Michigan, but during the seven week long course, "Discovering Michigan" will focus on two main themes: history and tourism. The class will introduce the history of Michigan, starting with the Native Americans and continues through industrialization, with an emphasis on the rise and fall of the automobile industry and its impact on the state. Two exciting field trips are scheduled for field study and hands-on learning. During the first field trip, the class will visit Nokomis, a Native American Cultural Center in Okemos, to learn about the cultural heritage of Michigan's indigenous people. The Nokomis Learning Center is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the history, arts, and culture of the People of the Three Fires – the people of the Ottawa, Potawatomi and Ojibway (also known as Chippewa) tribes. This field trip will help our participants discover the influence of indigenous culture and language in contemporary Michigan- for example, the word Michigan derived from "Michigamme," which means "big water" in Native American language.  

The Nokomis Learning Center in Okemos is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the indigenous people in Michigan.

The second field trip the class will take is a visit to the Michigan History Museum in downtown Lansing. The museum offers several themed exhibits covering Michigan's earliest years to the late 20th century. The guided tour will offer an opportunity for our participants to have a quick, up-close and personal look on Michigan's rich history from an expert's point of view.

The 1950s gallery at the Michigan History Museum exhibits Michigan's past as an automobile powerhouse and how its industry influenced nation's economy and American life style.

One of the course's major highlights will be a day-long field trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Northern Michigan. Named the "Most Beautiful Place in America" on ABC's Good Morning America, the Sleeping Bear Dunes are a natural wonder boasting miles of sandy beaches, high dunes, lush forests, and clear inland lakes. The high dunes provide spectacular views of Lake Michigan, and climbing up and down the dunes offers hours of fun for tourists and families.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Northern Michigan was named the "Most Beautiful Place in America."

The field trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes will not only provide a fun time for our visiting professionals and their families, but also a chance to dive deeper into issues of natural conservation and preservation. For more information on the legend of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, check out the VIPP blog!

VIPP is proud to provide an innovative course that enriches our visiting professionals' American experiences in Michigan. We hope that our visitors discover the rich history and beauty of Michigan for themselves and share with their friends and families once they return to their home countries. This will welcome more international tourists to the state of pure Michigan.