After the successfully running for many years in July and because of popular demand, AIM Overseas is proud to offer the Alternative Dispute Resolution program in January as well.

Globalisation has created special challenges in the practice of law. In a transnational commercial context, litigation of disputes in one party’s home courts is singularly unattractive to the other party in terms of situational advantage.  More importantly, with respect to transnational commercial disputes, litigation is often a clumsy mechanism for resolving factual and legal disputes that cross languages, jurisdictions, laws, and cultures.  Consequently, successful counsel involved with international trade must master alternatives to the litigation process.  This course introduces you to the three primary alternatives of international litigation: negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

International Commercial ADR: Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration focuses on key issues in resolving commercial disputes through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.  You will initially explore the nature of the global marketplace, cultural differentials and the impact of legal practice.  After which you will examine the diversity of legal systems and concepts in transborder litigation.  Concurrent with discussions of cultural inputs of international transactions and dispute resolution, you will explore the use of negotiation to create transactions in the first place and to resolve disputes when they arise.

After completing the course, students will be able to better understand the unique challenges in the practice of international litigation and, as a result, function more effectively in their role as advocates and third-party neutrals.

Additional Course Information

Please find below an overview of the course topics of the International Commercial ADR program:

  • Approaches to Negotiation: Adversarial / Competitive
  • Gender, Ethnicity, Racial, and Cultural Issues in Negotiation
  • Approaches to Negotiation: Cooperative and Problem-Solving
  • Approaches to Negotiation: Problem-Solving
  • Outside Speaker – Observations on Chinese Negotiating Culture 
  • Principles of Contract Drafting in the Context of Settlement Agreements
  • International Mediation in the Private Sector
  • Identifying Settlement Zones and Overcoming Barriers to Settlement
  • Positive-Sum
  • Evaluation by the Mediator
  • Appeal of Evaluation
  • Concerns about Evaluation
  • Law Governing Mediation
  • Mediator’s Professional Duties
  • Confidentiality
  • Agreements to Mediate
  • International Commercial Arbitration (ICA)
  • Formation of Enforceable Arbitration Agreements
  • Challenges Facing a Multi-Cultural International Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Transborder Arbitral Practice
  • Drafting Dispute Resolution Clauses

Professional visits and cultural activities

You will have the opportunity to visit the Michigan Supreme Court which is an integral part of the program.

A highlight of any program in the USA is to get a taste for life in the US and US campus culture. In January, students will be back on campus which will allow you to get a real feel of campus life at Michigan State University.

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. Our 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 our Ambassadors during orientation week and soon they’ll become good friends and resources. They may organize 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:

  • Day trip to winter sports complex
  • Weekend trip to Chicago
  • Typical American sports games
  • Shopping trips to Malls

University and Faculty


Mary A. Bedikian

Mary A. Bedikian is Professor of Law in Residence and Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program at Michigan State University College of Law, where she teaches negotiation, contract negotiation, commercial arbitration, arbitration advocacy, and labor and employment ADR.  Ms. Bedikian also serves as the law school’s faculty adviser for the ABA’s student competitions in ADR, and the VIS International Commercial Arbitration Competition.

She is a national mediation and arbitration trainer, having trained hundreds of neutrals and attorneys for the American Arbitration Association and the National Center for Dispute Settlement.  Specialty training programs include negotiation and mediation training for district court judges, mediation training for Oakland County Settlement Week, facilitative training for the Michigan Court of Appeals Pilot ADR Program, Boeing Corporation Facilitators’ Training, Oakland County Circuit Court Facilitative Mediation Training, Prudential Remediation Plan Neutrals’ Training, and AAA Employment Arbitrators’ Training.

Ms. Bedikian presents frequently to numerous professional organizations including the ADR Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the Advanced Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Institute, the Michigan Judges’ Association, the American Bar Association, and the International Academy of Mediators.

In addition to her lecture and training activities, Ms. Bedikian is well published.  In 1988, she won First Prize in the Sixth Annual National Labor Law Writing Competition sponsored by the Detroit College of Law for “Riding on the Horns of a Dilemma: The Law of Contract v. Public Policy in the Enforcement of Labor Arbitral Awards.”  Ms. Bedikian also wrote the chapter titled, “Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution” for Litigating the Commercial Case, published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in 1992.  In 1994, she co-authored Michigan Pleading and Practice, Vol. 8A (Callaghan: Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 2d ed. 1994), with Thomas L. Gravelle, Esq. She also co-authored a second practice book with Judge Richard A. Enslen and Pamela Chapman Enslen titled, Alternative Dispute Resolution (West, 1998).

Ms. Bedikian’s mediation and arbitration experience spans all types of business and employment disputes, and post-verdict mediations conducted under the auspices of a special Michigan court rule.  Her memberships include the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association.  She is the former Chair (1995/96) of the State Bar Section on Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution, from which she received the Distinguished Service Award for Contributions to the Field of ADR.

Daniel D. Barnhizer 

Professor of Law & The Bradford Stone Faculty Scholar, J.D. 1995, Harvard Law School; B.A. 1991, Miami University

Professor Barnhizer teaches and writes in the areas of contract law & theory, conservation law, comparative law, and the jurisprudence associated with the rule of law. Currently the Bradford Stone Faculty Scholar at Michigan State University College of Law, and a co-author of casebooks in the fields of Contracts and Commercial Transactions, Professor Barnhizer also directs the Conservation Law Program and the Journals Program at the Law College, as well as the MSU College of Law Institute for Comparative Law & Jurisprudence at the University of Białystok Faculty of Law in Poland. Prior to coming to Michigan State in 2001, Professor Barnhizer worked for the law firms of Hogan & Hartson and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, D.C., and as a judicial law clerk for the Honourable Richard L. Nygaard, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, and for the Honourable Robert B. Krupansky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, sitting by designation on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.


Michigan State University (MSU), founded in 1855, is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU is the eighth-largest university in the United States (in terms of enrollment) and has approximately 540,000 living alumni worldwide.

East Lansing is very much a college town, with 60.2% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24, and the campus is perched 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.


Credit and Funding

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 $6000+ 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 $6,000 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 January 2017 programs are now closed. 

Some of our programs are full, however it may be possible to accept late applications for other remaining programs. Please see the AIM Overseas Late Application Fee Document. If you are still interested in one of our January 2017 offerings, please contact us directly via or call us on (02) 9975 7792.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.