International Immersion Program

The University of Chicago Law School launched the International Immersion Program (IIP) in February 2012 to provide support to students seeking substantive, immersive international experiences and to help prepare students to enter an increasingly globalized profession. To date, the Law School has funded more than a hundred students on a dozen immersion trips to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. The 2015-2016 academic year IIP trips took place in the Middle East during the Winter Break and in Argentina and Japan during the Spring Break. Each trip has a theme and includes classes in the country on the trip’s topic, meetings with attorneys, meetings with judges and policy makers, meetings with alumni, and a service component.  Trips also include visits to other sites related to the trip’s topic (health clinics, schools, etc.).  Students participate in and prepare intensive training sessions about each trip’s theme and the legal system in their destination in advance of traveling.  Students also prepare a research paper based on their experiences as well as a reaction paper discussing the trip. 

Students on the 2016 IIP trip to Japan

As just a few examples, in addition to several seminars on Chinese law, the students who travelled to China met with attorneys at large law firms and major corporations to learn more about legal issues and explore job opportunities in China. The students who traveled to Belize worked with different NGOs in Belize on issues related to disaster relief law, various human rights issues, and land rights. The students who travelled to Vietnam, in addition to attending an introductory course on Vietnamese law and visits to law firms and NGOs, participated in a workshop with members of the country’s Constitution Revision Committee to discuss proposed constitutional amendments, setting up a constitutional review body, and improving provisions on human rights protection.  Students who traveled to Cuba took courses on various aspects of the Cuban legal system taught by professors, lawyers, and judges; met with municipal court judges; toured the University of Havana; met with business owners; visited a health clinic; visited cultural sites; and received a briefing from the Political Chief of the U.S. Mission in Havana. 

For the 2016 – 2017 school year, three Spring Break trips will be offered: in Hong Kong and Singapore, in The Netherlands, and in Russia. The theme of the Hong Kong-Singapore Trip is Law and Development, of the Netherlands Trip – International Law and International Organizations, and of the Russia Trip – Economic Development, Law, and Democratic Transition.

Application forms for the 2016-2017 academic year IIP trips are available below and will be due by 16th October 2016. The IIP Information Session is scheduled from 12:15 - 1:20 pm on 4th Oct 2016, Room V.

To learn more, please contact Aican Nguyen at aican@uchicago.edu.