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 organized and provided partial funding for three student trips to China, one to Belize, one to Cuba, one to Kenya, one to The Hague (The Netherlands), one to Switzerland, and one to Vietnam.  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. 

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. 

Trips for the 2015-2016 academic year will be announced during the summer of 2015.  To learn more, please contact Aican Nguyen at aican@uchicago.edu.