Q. Where can I find more information about the orientation activities you have planned for us?
A. Please check this website periodically for updates. Click on the schedule link and you will see the most up to date information available. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us.
Q. Where will I be staying? Will I have my own room?
A. You will be staying at the East Lansing Marriott at University Place in downtown East Lansing. You will be sharing a room with one other FLTA participant of the same gender. For more information regarding housing, please see the Housing section of this website.
Q. Is someone picking me up from the airport? How do I get from the airport to the hotel?
A. One of the MSU staff or student workers will be meeting you at the Lansing Airport. He/She will help you get your bags and either get on the hotel shuttle or a taxi. If you miss a flight and arrive late, or if by any chance we miss you (though it probably won't happen), we recommend taking a taxi to the East Lansing Marriott. For more details, please check the Arrival section of our website.
Q. If I have to take a shuttle/taxi to the Marriott Hotel, which address should I give to the shuttle/taxi driver?
A. Tell your driver that you are going to the East Lansing Marriott at University Place at 300 M.A.C. Ave in East Lansing, MI 48823. The phone number of the hotel is 1-517-337-4440.
Q. I am arriving a few days before the orientation program begins or staying a few days after it ends. Can I stay in the hotel longer?
A. Please remember that IIE must give you permission to arrive early. The Marriott Hotel does have a few rooms available in the event that some of you arrive early or need to stay late; however, you are responsible for making the arrangements and payment yourself. Please be aware that hotels in East Lansing generally exceed $75 a night, and are often much more. Some additional options include staying at the Kellogg Center or the Hampton Inn. We created a Facebook group, so you can connect with each other and find another roommate if you arrive early or stay late.
Q. I do not have a mobile phone that works in the U.S. How can I get in touch with my family to let them know I have arrived safely?
A. We recommend that you purchase an international calling card or use email. You can purchase a calling card at the airport, at numerous locations close to the hotel, or at the student union on campus. You may activate the phone in each hotel room, but you must pay for any calls made yourself. Be warned: phone calls can be VERY expensive. The Marriott Hotel has free wireless Internet access for those of you who already have a computer. The front desk also has two computers that may be used for short amounts of time for checking/sending email.
Q. In case I need to shop for toiletries, aspirin, or a snack, where do I go?
A. There are numerous shops close to the hotel where you can purchase these items.
Q. I need to buy new clothes/a computer/iPad/cell phone/etc... or I need to ship items back home.
A. The goals of this orientation are to help you learn about the U.S., its academic culture, the latest in teaching techniques and technology, and to introduce you to each other. This orientation is NOT the time to do major shopping or run errands. The schedule is extremely tight, with very limited free hours. You will have plenty of time for shopping once you reach your host institution.
Q. What is the weather like in East Lansing?
A. Most people agree - the weather in Michigan can be frustrating. In East Lansing, we have four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter), but each can be slightly unpredictable. In late July/early August, average temperatures are between 20-22 degrees Celsius. However, this could vary significantly year to year. In addition, even when we have hot days, the evenings/nights might cool down to 13 degrees Celsius. You can check the weather online (city: East Lansing). Michigan is absolutely beautiful when it is sunny, and in July and August we usually get the most sunshine. We also have an average of about 11 days each month with rain, so it is a good idea to bring an umbrella.
Q. Where can I exchange foreign currency or use an automatic teller machine (ATM) to withdraw money?
A. There are ATMs close to the hotel where you can withdraw money using your credit/debit cards. However, there are NOT any locations for you to exchange foreign currency. If you wish to do so, please change some money before you travel or at one of the bigger airports as you travel. Some FLTAs in the past have had trouble with their credit cards (accepted in some places, but not others), so we suggest carrying some U.S. currency.
Please also note that hotels in the U.S. frequently require a valid credit card to stay there - even if you plan on paying in cash. This is especially true for hotels near airports. You won’t need a credit card for the Marriott for the days covered by the orientation, but if you are staying at any hotel before going on to your host institution, you should confirm with them if a credit card is required.
Q. What should I bring for the orientation at MSU?
A. An umbrella - it rains a lot in Michigan; Clothing for warm weather, but also a sweater/jacket because our air conditioning can be quite cold; Comfortable shoes - you will be walking a lot, especially on Tuesday and Thursday. Make sure you pack essentials in your carry-on bag because luggage can get delayed. See also the What to Bring page.