International Studies & Programs


Fall 2020 Online Course Offerings


The Visiting International Professional Program is pleased to announce its Fall open enrollment courses for international professionals and MSU alumni.

These online courses are designed to enhance your professional skills or to increase your knowledge of U.S. culture and society.

VIPP courses utilize virtual collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and D2L, and offer a rich global experience in a virtual space.

Seats are limited! Register Now! (Details below)

Registration deadline for the Fall 1 session is September 7, 2020 on a First Come First Served basis. 

Registration deadline for the Fall 2 session is October 24, 2020.

Course Flyer PDF

Registration Details

To Register

Registration Form


Registration is not complete until payment has been submitted on CashNet.


Refer to course description for exact times and dates of online sessions (7 weeks, 14 sessions)


Refer to course description for exact times and dates of online sessions.


Online via Zoom and


Taught in English


$250 per course for VIPP and MSU Alumni (verification is required)

$325 per course for all other interested individuals


Upon registration and payment you will be sent the course syllabus, Zoom link with password, and D2L instructions.

Students are required to access Non alumni will receive a community login ID.


For questions and inquiries, please email vipp(at)


VIP 452 US Legal System and Government

Instructor: Teresa Svec

First Half Semester (September 9 – October 23); 1.5 Credit Hours

Online sessions: 10:30-11:50am EST on Tuesday and Thursday (9/10 - 10/22)


This course introduces students to the structure of the American legal system and the court system in the United States. Students will learn about the functions of the three branches of the U.S. government, as well as the important role of the U.S. Constitution. This course will also explore how elections are conducted in the United States, and students will engage with topics surrounding the upcoming presidential election. Students will gain an understanding of the concept of federalism, and the interaction between the state governments and the federal government. This course will also cover the unique role of the common law in judicial decision-making, and how an adversarial system of justice functions. Students will have the opportunity to examine how the U.S. legal system is different from legal systems in other countries, and will engage in discussion and debate.


VIP 460 Communication Skills

Instructor: Rachael Gates

First Half Semester (September 9 – October 23); 1.5 Credit Hours

Online sessions: 10:30-11:50am EST on Monday and Wednesday (9/9-10/21)


Did you want to say something, but felt that you did not know the best words to express what you wanted to say? Did somebody say something in a way that confused you? These low-pressure workshops will equip you with both conversational- and body- languages needed to navigate everyday situations and social interactions so that you can expand your vocabulary and more comfortably communicate with native English speakers. All will participate in fun role play, improvisations and discussions in both online and in-person settings. Some classes will be held outside. We will develop practical skills as we interpret phrasal verbs and practice common transactions and conversations tied to specific themes. The syllabus is flexible, and we can also explore topics that you choose. Please be prepared to have fun, be a little silly, and take minor risks.


VIP 617 Academic and Professional Writing: Beyond Basics

Instructor: Ruth Mendel

Second Half Semester (October 26 – December 11); 1.5 Credit Hours

Online sessions: 8:30-9:50am EST on Tuesday and Thursday (10/27-12/10)


**** Maximum enrollment is limited to 16! ****

This course focuses on areas of writing that are important in academic and professional writing and can pose difficulties for second language speakers. Topics covered in the course include the following: email writing, data commentary (how we discuss data),   cause-effect writing, cross-cultural issues in second language writing, process descriptions, business memo writing, problem-solution texts, use of the conditional tense in writing, and common patterns of errors in second language writing.   Exercises developed by the instructor are designed to be interesting and stimulating and involve discussion with classmates. Writing improves by….writing.  You will therefore have ample opportunity to write in this class, through both in-class short writing exercises and short writing assignments. There will be no long paper or presentation required for the class; instead there will be 3 -4 short (approximately 1 page) assignments. Students will receive extensive individualized feedback on both in-class writing exercises and written homework to help them improve writing. I place great emphasis on having a stress-free low-key (not high pressure) class. I believe that mistakes are only opportunities to learn. 


VIP 451B American Culture through Movies and Music

Instructor: Anna Kortemeyer

Second Half Semester (October 26 – December 11); 1.5 Credit Hours

Online sessions: 10:30-11:50am EST on Tuesday and Thursday (10/27-12/10)


Get to know American culture through great movies and music!  This fast-paced course, full of music examples and film excerpts, aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of American culture through discussions of historical developments and movements since the 1950’s. The highlighted film genres include science fiction, comedy, musicals, animated movies, and drama; and a survey of rock and roll, disco, country, folk, hard rock, soul, Motown, and hip hop provide an overview of popular music genres.  We discuss other topics related to the entertainment industry such as the historical significance of music festivals such as Woodstock and Live Aid and stay up-to-date with discussions of recent Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony winners. We also examine Michigan's rich contributions to the entertainment industry. In addition to listening, discussion, and student presentations, readings about culture, music and movies support preparation for and comprehension of class material.