Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA)


Be prepared to eat food you are not used to eating.

Be prepared that what we call a sandwich might not be what you call a sandwich, what we call curry might not be what you call curry, etc.

Water from the tap is safe to drink. Most Americans drink tap water and not bottled water. Produce (fruit, vegetables) is safe to eat after you wash it off with some water. Most Americans do not clean it with soap or disinfectant first.

At the orientation, there will be no pork served at the catered meals.


Tuesday - Thursday morning will be a buffet at the Marriott. On Friday morning, all FLTAs will receive a boxed breakfast to accommodate early departures. Typical American breakfasts include eggs, sausage/bacon, muffins, toast, waffles, pancakes, and milk or juice. It is not typical to have rice for breakfast. We will serve Turkey bacon and turkey sausage, NOT pork. See Menus.


A lunch will be provided each day near the classrooms where the sessions are held. Typical American lunches include sandwiches, salads, chips, and/or soup. See Menus.


Dinner on Monday and Wednesday will be on your own; however, we will have a number of American students and staff who will lead you to various restaurants close to campus and eat with you if you'd like. You can see a list on the restaurant page. The Marriott has also created a special FLTA menu in the Cafe Bistro. See Restaurants.

On Tuesday, we will have a typical American BBQ (barbecue) at a close-by lake. BBQ typically includes grilled hamburgers (and vegetarian burgers) and chicken along with sides such as coleslaw, corn, and salads. See Menus.

On Thursday, we will have a farewell dinner/party. See Menus.


All meals provided will have various options including vegetarian dishes. We have asked that there be no pork served at the buffet meals provided at the Marriott or at the BBQ. The beef served is not halal or kosher. We understand that there is a difference in belief regarding whether chicken/turkey is halal or not. If you are unsure, you should indicate that you want the vegetarian meals on the initial survey before arrival. At all buffets, those who signed up as vegetarian will go through the buffet lines first to ensure the vegetarian options are available to them.


The survey includes a question about food allergies and the orientation staff will work with the caterers to avoid those items, or create special dishes for those with specific allergies. However, many foods in the U.S. have some non-obvious ingredients (for example, potato chips that are cooked in peanut oil), so FLTAs with allergies should make sure to read all labels carefully.