Negotiation, Contracts and Comparative Law is a 3-week deep dive into contract law, practical negotiation skills, and comparative theory. This course combines the questions of why? what? and how? that lie beneath contracts.
Why care about contracts? Contract is both the greatest expression of human freedom and the lowliest expression of human greed. Contract – the ability to commit yourself and another legally to a common course of action – is what makes the modern world possible. This is true whether we are talking about purchasing the latest Adele single from iTunes or Amazon, getting your first “real” job and flat, or inking a multibillion dollar merger agreement. Contract is so omnipresent that we barely even notice when we click “I Accept” or sign our name to the car lease. Understanding why we can make legally enforceable agreements matters for creating the future of contract practices, getting out of the contracts we (or our clients) really regret, and deciding when it makes sense to limit the contract power for social interests.
In this course, participants will explore a range of interesting real-world scenarios including:
- What is the connection between human dignity, freedom, and the ability to make legally enforceable promises?
- What do James Bond, Star Wars, aboriginal Trobriand Islanders, and speed limits in Michigan, the Northern Territory, and Lithuania have in common?
- Should a court enforce a contract requiring a consumer to pay $3500 merely for posting a negative review about bad customer service online?
- Alternatively, why does the state prohibit contracts for the sale of sexual services, murder for hire, or the sale of narcotics when both parties really want the deal to go through?
- How can I get a better deal on my next TV? Car? Multibillion-dollar merger?
- I want to do business in China – how should I think about Chinese contract law? How do I avoid potential pitfalls?
Intended Learning Outcomes & Additional Course Information
After successfully completing this short course, participants will have gained the following skills and knowledge:
- Define the essential elements of functionalism, hermeneutics, and structuralism as modes of comparison in comparative law
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of functionalism, hermeneutics, and structuralism as modes of comparison in comparative law
- Explain situations in which different modes of comparison might yield different results
Final written exam (70%)
Contract negotiation team exercise (10%)
Contract drafting exercise (20%)
University & Faculty
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
- 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 the 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
The Negotiation, Contracts and Comparative Law 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.
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
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.
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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