Just kidding, it was about 3000 degrees too hot for a cuppa.

This has been our first week at MSU and what a week it has been! A few of us had some airport induced dramas in arriving at MSU but we all arrived in one piece and those who had made it in prior to 9pm went out for a bit of a mingle.

Orientation is usually such a dreaded word. We were all presently surprised and relieved that orientation was fun and interactive. We broke off into our groups to participate in the scavenger hunt (shout out to the winners, Potato Head Fam). Next on our list was a trip to Meijer. Our trip to Meijer was out of this world. It is true what the say, everything is bigger in the USA. After one trip to Meijer, and many purchases later, we head back to campus. After a tour of the university and a fun round of introductions, we were off to “the rock”. Provided with information about how the students and other East Lansing community members paint the rock to support social causes important to them, we decorated the rock to reflect #ASPSummer17.  Our first day had gone off without a hitch and we were exhausted.

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Our second day was Independence Day! Normally for a public holiday in Australia we would all be heating up the BBQ to slap a few snags on it and mum would be decorating the Pavlova. However, in the USA they do things differently. Firstly we participated in the kickball competition and later we got ready to head off to see the local minor league baseball team. Although baseball requires large quantities of Google searches such as “How many strikes before being out?” and “What is an inning”, and is essentially cricket with tight pants and cardio, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Our Independence Day finished off with fireworks and with a win by the Lansing Lugnuts!

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Our third day was the day that our classes began! The students of International ADR arrived at the College of Law building early to get ready for what the next three weeks was going to be like.  We were introduced to our Professor Mary Badikian and we formally introduced ourselves to not only Mary but our class peers. The class was interactive and very informative. Mary holds her “Aussie” students to a high standard and we were all very eager to prove ourselves. Later that afternoon we wondered over to the Eli and Edith Broad Art Museum for our welcoming ceremony. This gave us the opportunity to view the exhibitions, which were absolutely phenomenal.

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The following two days our teacher Mary was unwell so most of the International ADR students took the opportunity to enjoy a sleep in and catch up on the reading materials. However, rest is for the wicked and we were off to Niagara Falls on Friday afternoon. After a 6 hour plus bus ride we finally arrived at the hotel which was a very warm welcome after the spending a week in the very warm dorm rooms.

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Oh big fancy waterfall, how art thou so lovely?

There are no words to explain Canada’s vast beauty. We immediately and enthusiastically endorsed the amazing tourist attraction. Despite the fact that it requires money and effort to relocate, most of us were pretty set on going to live in Canada after the one trip. Most of the students were able to enjoy Canadian nightlife, courtesy of the legal age requirement being 19 (good stuff, Canada) but that did not stop us from all getting up bright and early for a full day of adventure!

The students broke off into groups to experience as much as possible which included activities such as the hornblower boat cruise, journey behind the falls, a 4D movie on the history of Niagara Falls, a white water walk, zip-lining, whirlpool aero car and much more. The day went by in a flash and in the blink of an eye, it was Sunday morning and we were heading back to campus.

Overall our first week has been exhilarating, fast paced and full of surprises. We are all ardently waiting for what this week will bring us along with our trip to Chicago.

Finally, I leave you with the Aussie legal maxim of the week: “Yeah Nah”, “Nah Yeah”.

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Hi! My name is Stephanie and I am in my last final year of a double degree in Law and Arts (majoring in Spanish with Portuguese). I am very excited to be participating in the International Arbitration and Litigation course offered at Michigan State University. I hope you all enjoy the weekly blog.