Global Study
Lights Camera Action - MSU - YMCA Global Study

Lights, Camera, Action!

East Lansing, USA

This program is ideal for students who are studying production or media and is perfect for anyone who wants to get hands-on experience producing a short-film.

The Lights, Camera, Action! program is hosted by the Department of Media and Information at MSU, with the help of 24 time Emmy award-winning television journalist Troy Hale. During this fast-paced short course, students will be trained in basic single camera production techniques for professional projects. Guided by experts, students will move from learning foundation work all the way to professional video processes. Participants will learn how to produce professional projects from conception to delivery.

Students will work in groups and apply the knowledge they acquired during this course to produce high quality, 5-minute short film projects. These films will be produced at a professional level, not a student level, and the expected level of quality is such that they would be accepted into the program of an international film festival – and they are!

Training will cover the following areas:

  • Professional Camera Operation techniques
  • Composition
  • Basic 3-point Lighting
  • Professional Audio for Video
  • Importing, Editing, and Exporting projects
  • Creating powerful visual stories
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Scripting Storyboarding

In past years, some of the films produced by our students have gone on to be shortlisted in a number of international film festivals


Frankly Film Fest (USA): Detritus, Dirty Laundry, Pizza Wrangle

North Portland Unknown 2-Minute Film Festival (USA): Pizza Wrangle


Wirksworth 3 Minute Film Festival (UK): Curtain Call

Berlin Flash Film Festival (Germany): Curtain Call

Maimi Independent Film Festival (USA): Curtain Call


I had an amazing experience, meeting lots of new friends both in the program and out of the program. I learnt so much in my class from my teacher and I also got to experience so much on all the excursions we went on. I loved being able to take part in other MSU programs outside of the study tour and learnt so much from them too. – Shayla, La Trobe University

Intended Learning Outcomes & Additional Program Information

After successfully completing this short course, participants will have gained the following skills and knowledge

  • Learned the basic structure of a film project
  • Understood story development and the processes before you shoot
  • Camera/lighting/audio and editing techniques
  • What to do to “sell” your film to a film festival
  • Post-Production techniques at a Broadcast Standard Level.


In-Class Attendance & Participation (10%)

Script (20%)

Shoot Days (10%)

Rough Cuts (20%)

Final Film (40%)

University & Faculty

The Lights, Camera, Action! Short Course is led by MSU Faculty Member Troy Hale, who is an Emmy award-winning television journalist. You can read Troy’s full bio on the College of Communication Arts and Sciences website. For specific topics such as sound editing and finishing, he will bring in experts in those areas who also teach at MSU.

Michigan State University (MSU) is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, United States. Founded in 1855, the university began as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country’s first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture. After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became coeducational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is one of the largest universities in the United States and has approximately 540,000 living alumni worldwide

Michigan State University Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways. The University tackles some of the world’s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better.

Michigan State University has also been a pioneer in developing intensive study abroad courses, having developed courses for Australian students since 2012.


East Lansing is a city located directly next to Lansing, the state capital of Michigan. It’s also a short drive from Chicago and Detroit.

East Lansing is most famous for being the home of Michigan State University. The USA’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world.

Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic residential colleges, and service-learning programs, MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.

Known as ‘The Spartans’ their mascot Sparty is one of the most recognised mascots in collegiate sports. MSU participates in the NCAA Division 1 competition as members of the BIG10 and has won multiple national titles in football, basketball and ice hockey.


Students will live on campus at Michigan State University’s Owen Hall

To learn more about Owen Hall and see some photos, click here

Accommodation Includes:

  • All students will be placed in single rooms, sharing a suite style bathroom with one other person of the same gender
  • Rooms are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, and dresser
  • Bed linens, pillows, and towels are provided by the residence hall and can be exchanged for clean linens weekly
  • Owen Hall has several common spaces including a take-out style restaurant and convenience store, cafeteria style seating, a media room, community kitchen, study rooms, a computer lab, music practice rooms, and a large outdoor patio
  • Air conditioning is not available in individual rooms, but all common spaces are air-conditioned. Students are provided with box fans in their rooms

Internet Access in Owen Hall

  • Wi-Fi is available in all common spaces, including lounges on each residence hall floor.
  • Wi-Fi is not reliable, and often not available, in individual rooms. Each room has hard-wired internet access. Students can request an Ethernet cord from the American Semester program or can bring one from home.
  • Just be sure your computer has a port for an Ethernet cord! Get an adapter if you need one.

Owen Hall Security

  • Owen Hall has a service desk staffed 24-7. The staff can answer any questions residents
    have and can help resolve maintenance issues by contacting maintenance staff.
  • All students are given a key to their room and an access card upon check-in. Only
    residents can access the floor on which they live in Owen Hall with their access card.


  • Students have access to IM East, the closest fitness facility. Access is only $3 per day.
  • Toilet paper and trash bags are provided free of charge by Owen Hall.
  • Sports equipment can be checked out from the service desk.
  • River Walk Market, a takeaway style restaurant, is located in the lobby and accepts Spartan Cash.
Social and Cultural Program

Student Support

The Lights, Camera, Action! Short Course is provided by the American Semester Program (ASP), a unit within the Office for Education Abroad at Michigan State University. ASP provides semester and year-long study abroad programs in addition to Short Courses offered in July each year. The small team of expert coordinators provides all ASP students one-on-one health, safety, and academic support and carefully designs programming that will integrate them into college life at MSU and in the Midwest United States. On this Short Course, students will be supported by the Short Course Coordinator and her team of Stewards who are on call 24/7 to support students and ensure a high-quality and fun experience for all participants.

Weekend Trip to Chicago

Students will have a whole weekend to explore ‘The Windy City’! Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the US and has one of the tallest skylines in the world with the Willis Tower (110 Story) and the John Hancock Center (100 Story) observation decks offering amazing views of the city. Chicago is home to over 250 theatres, however, our favourite is The Second City, a comedy club with over 50 years of history some of the most famous comedians got their start right here including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Joan Rivers, Steve Carell and Mike Myers.

Explore Mackinac Island

Enjoy a day of fun and adventure exploring the untouched Mackinac Island

Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Game

Experience the traditional American sport of baseball, eat hot dogs at the ballpark, and try to get a picture with the Lugnuts’ mascot “Big Lug”. Before we go to the game, students from MSU will lead you in a game of kickball to help you understand the basics of baseball.

BBQ at Lake Lansing

Eat local BBQ from Saddleback BBQ ‘till your heart’s content at one of the inland lakes near to MSU. Take a paddle boat out on the lake, play volleyball and soccer, and enjoy the sunshine.

Tour of the Michigan Capitol Building

Lansing is just down the road from MSU, and it is our state capital. Tour the historic building and learn about Michigan’s history and how our government works.

American Cuisine Demonstration

Learn about American cuisine while watching a demonstration by one of our chefs at Brody Square.

Graduation Ceremony

Celebrate with your new friends the completion of your American Semester Program Short Course! Take part in an American style graduation (after decorating your grad cap!), celebrate with your professors, and eat dinner at our Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel.

*Subject to availability

Also Included

Students are provided with a Spartan ID Card processed during orientation, which will be loaded with $260.00 of Spartan Cash.

  • Spartan Cash can be used to purchase meals in on-campus cafeterias: Brody Square and The Gallery
  • It can also be used at area restaurants and Sparty’s locations (convenience store). A full list of establishments that accept Spartan Cash can be found here

The following meals are also provided in the program:

  • Orientation breakfast and lunch
  • BBQ lunch
  • Boxed lunch on Lake Michigan trip
  • Graduation dinner
Access and Disability Support

YMCA Global Study aims to provide study abroad programs that are accessible to all students and work with participants on an individual basis to ensure they are supported throughout the entire study abroad process. Click here to learn more about how we with students living with a disability to study abroad.

Application Information

If you have any questions about our programs check out our frequently asked questions page, or if you would like to ask specific questions about the courses we offer feel free to contact us directly via email or messenger we’re more than happy to help.

You can register your interest for a future program by clicking here.

Places are limited and are usually oversubscribed. Students are encouraged to apply early to secure their spot.

The YMCA Global Study Application Process

Step 1: Apply Now

Click here to complete the online Registration and Application forms. This will give us the information we need to access your eligibility for a program. After you have completed the online application forms you will be prompted to book a time to have a telephone interview with one of our staff.

Step 2: Phone Interview

Phone interviews are usually about 15 minutes and give us a chance to talk to you about your program choice, make sure all the information we have is correct, and talk you through the rest of the application process.

Step 3: Finalising your application

Once you have completed YMCA Global Study will send you an email with instructions detailing how to finalise your application.

Step 4: Receive your acceptance pack

Once your application has been approved YMCA Global Study will send you an ‘Acceptance pack’. This pack will include important documents such as a course syllabus, acceptance letter from your Host University and advice on how to apply for credit with your home university, the pack may also include information on any funding specific to your university.

Step 5: Apply for credit and funding (if applicable)

Now you are ready to apply for credit and funding (woohoo!) – all the information you need will be in your acceptance pack

Step 6: Pay your deposit and confirm your place 

Once you have paid your deposit your place on the program confirmed.

You can also keep up to date with us by following YMCA Global Study on social media and signing up to our newsletter. This is the best way to get reminders about important dates and deadlines, opportunities for funding and our blog which will provide you with helpful hints and tips for your study abroad experience.

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