Teaching is an art, and although mastery of one’s subject matter is essential, great teachers also understand how to design environments in which their students can learn. The goal of this short-course is to help participants become master teachers in formal and informal educational settings.

We will start with understanding ourselves as teachers by considering important questions such as our beliefs about our role in the classroom, our relationships with students, and the function of content in instruction using the Teaching Perspectives Inventory.

From this starting point, we will look at current theory and practice related to teaching and learning, including:

  • Designing and evaluating active learning experiences
  • Comparing and contrasting global educational structures and policies
  • Managing student behaviour in the classroom, including cyberbullying
  • Integrating technology to enhance student learning
  • Discussing the role of testing, evaluation and assessment in education
  • Teaching during tragedy and teaching about tragedy
  • Creating inclusive learning environments

After completing the short course, student participants should be able to:

  • Create an educational module using backward design theory and practice
  • Develop personalised plans for improving the quality of their instruction
  • Implement effective experiential, active and collaborative learning techniques in a variety of settings
  • Evaluate the role of technology in their instruction
  • Implement methods to make their classrooms inclusive, safe places
  • Formulate arguments about contemporary issues in education

Students will learn through reading, but they will also participate in classroom activities, take field trips, and engage in thoughtful discussion with other students and educators.

This course is designed for anyone interested in educational practice, and it does not assume that students have a strong background in educational theory or pedagogy.

* Details of the 2017 program are still subject to final change *

Additional Course Information

This course is specifically designed with various learning objectives and outcomes in mind. A few of these include:

  • To introduce students to various theories and techniques related to teaching and learning
  • To lead students through an educational design process
  • To discuss and use experiential, active and collaborative learning techniques
  • To interact with educational technology programs, equipment and spaces
  • To analyse contemporary issues in teaching and learning

University and Faculty

Michigan State University

Michigan State University (MSU) is an awesome US university. Consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the USA for many years, it has also ranked comfortably inside the Top 100 universities in the world for the past 8 years. MSU is recognised all over the US for its exceptional sporting teams, internationally diverse campus and study abroad offering and fabulous campus life. Academically and socially this is an incredible place to study.

Located on the banks of the Red Cedar River, MSU is home to the American football team, the Spartans, and they compete in the Spartan Stadium that can seat over 75,000 spectators. The University’s mascot, Sparty the Spartan, is recognised all around America and has won ‘Best University Mascot’ many times over. Spartans, the name given to all MSU graduates, have a strong network that spans the globe. Having an MSU experience on your resume is a big deal!

Located in East Lansing, Michigan, MSU is approximately one hour from Detroit, four hours from Chicago, Illinois and an hour and a half away from the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan.

The Faculty

The Global Education and Curriculum faculty seeks to allow students to make positive impacts upon the contexts in which they live all across the world. In educating future teachers or those in leadership positions, the school encourages the use of comprehensive discipline knowledge, use of advanced technologies and ways in which to direct teams in order to address global issues and promote the development of those with the skills to become effective global citizens.

Dr. James (Jim) M. Lucas, Ph.D.

Dr. James Lucas is currently the Assistant Dean of Global Education and Curriculum in the Office of Undergraduate Education in the Provost’s Office. In this capacity he consults with academic and student affairs units on issues related to diversity, intercultural, and global education; curriculum development and assessment; faculty and staff development; and global program development. Dr. Lucas over 15 years of college teaching experience including courses in environmental problem-solving and sustainability, and he has designed and/or coordinated a diverse range of study abroad programs including MSU’s innovative first-year experiences.

Site Visits and Cultural Activities

Field Trips/Site Visits

For one night, students will travel to the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, MSU’s largest off-campus education complex, to immerse themselves in designing, implementing, and assessing educational experiences. During the 2-day, 1 night excursion, students will participate in simulations of educational programming with KBS staff and deconstruct those sessions with Jim Lucas, the professor of this short course. Students will also sleep in cabins, roast marshmallows by the campfire, and have an authentic Michigan summer night!

Cultural activities


A highlight of any program in the USA is to get a taste for life in the US and US campus culture. Whilst it is holiday time at MSU and many students travel home for the summer, the MSU student ambassadors will make every effort to help you discover what US uni life is all about.

Ambassadors are part of the American Semester team and help welcome you to campus and adjust to MSU. Usually, Ambassadors have spent time on their own study abroad outside of the USA and are eager to keep the international connection going through meeting students similar to themselves. The MSU ambassadors volunteer their time because they enjoy meeting new people and learning about new cultures as well as sharing their own.

You will be introduced to the Ambassadors during orientation week and soon they’ll become good friends and resources. They may organise events or social gatherings for the entire group or for just a few. They can tell you the best place to study or to just hang out on campus.

As part of the program, you will have opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities. A list of planned activities are yet to be finalised, but are likely to include:

  • Weekend trip to Niagara Falls
  • Weekend trip to Chicago

Students will come from Australian universities as well as MSU’s partner universities, so the program is a great opportunity to meet students from around Australia and the world.


You will be staying in a single room in an MSU student residence.  Sheets, a pillow, towels and linen are provided.

Meals can be taken at the campus dining facilities and most meals are included in the program fee. Typically, 3 meals per day during the week whilst you are on campus and some meals whilst you are on the site visits/ weekends.

You will have access to a large, fully equipped gym, basketball court, racquetball court, and indoor and outdoor pools.


Destination Information

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East Lansing, Michigan USA

As the name suggests, East Lansing is located immediately east of Michigan’s capital, Lansing and can be found in the north-east of the US. The area historically representing a crossroads between 2 Native American tribes, today East Lansing can be considered to be a college town with a very young and energetic atmosphere, with over 60% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24. As a result of this, one can find a variety of college-geared businesses such as coffee shops, bookstores and bars nestled within neighbourhoods largely populated by students. The very successful sporting teams of MSU dominate the city culture, creating a very dedicated and passionate fanbase.

Here are some reasons why East Lansing and its surrounds will be a great start to your study in the US:

  • Home to around 50,000 people, East Lansing is most widely known as the home of Michigan State University.
  • MSU is within the top 10 most enrolled universities in the USA and lays claim to have educated over 540,000 alumni across the world.
  • Sites such as W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the United States, Beaumont Tower, Red Ceder River and the Spartan Stadium.


Credit and Funding


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6250+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Application Information

Applications for our July 2017 programs are now closed. 

We are no longer taking applications for our July 2017 round of programs. Applications for our January 2018 programs will be open on May 22nd.

If you wish to know more, or if you have any questions about our programs please contact us via info@aimoverseas.com.au or (02) 9975 7792. You can also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Alternatively, you can register your interest now for a January 2018 or July 2018 program, meaning you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline and when applications are open.