Australia/New Zealand
Foreign Study Program

Discover How to Spend an Entire Semester "Down Under"

An Experience of a Lifetime....

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School is proud to announce its 18th Australia/New Zealand Program, a semester program “Down Under” is currently underway. This exciting program allows law students to live and study in New Zealand for about five weeks and the remainder of the semester in Australia. The program began in Hamilton, New Zealand on January 4, 2017 and concludes in Melbourne, Australia, on April 13, 2017. Join us Down Under!

Follow the adventures of our Down Under groups at WMU-Cooley’s blog at

Imagine this....

down under
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Rd, Victoria, AU

Waking up across the Pacific Ocean in a land far away called OZ. That is a nickname for Australia for those who that did not know. There is no Dorothy and Toto here but still plenty of places to explore. After waking up and getting ready for an exciting day you head out the door greeting a few of your fellow program participants from law schools around the United States. You head to class in bustling downtown Melbourne where class is held at the Monash University Law Chambers. You left a little early today so you would have some time to grab a quick bite to eat for breakfast or brekkie as some locals call it. Stopping at your favorite café on Queen Street you pick up a small breakfast sandwich. Nothing too big as you are meeting some new friends for lunch. They are local Australians you met last week at Bells Beach. A few of the new friends you made from the program will also be joining you. Time to head to class.

Today your Australian professor gives a great lecture with plenty of good class interactions. The Down Under Program has offered you an all-around authentic foreign study experience. It is not just interaction with a foreign culture in the local cafés but also in the classroom with top Australian professors.

South Bank Bridge, Melbourne, Australia
South Bank Bridge, Melbourne, AU

You finish up your second and final class for the day, check your e-mail in the computer lab and head to lunch. When you arrive some of your group is already at the table planning what to do for the weekend. You already have seen a lot. The Great Ocean Road trip was awesome last week. The New Year's Eve fireworks in Sydney just before the program started is something you will never forget. You pause a moment to take it all in. You would never be doing this back at home during a regular semester at law school. What an opportunity! You only have a few weeks left in Australia after a great adventure in New Zealand.

New Zealand....

To think the semester Down Under began in New Zealand!  Five weeks in beautiful and exotic New Zealand.  The University of Waikato has a beautiful campus.  It was a short walk from our dorms to the new Law and Management Building where the Te Piringa-Faculty of Law program is headquartered.  The classes and the professors were fantastic.  In the afternoon we studied by the “lakes”, drinking a coffee and soaking up the sun.

University of Waikato campus, New Zealand
University of Waikato campus, New Zealand

The first weekend is a visit to Raglan.  The trip to Raglan was great!  The world class surf beaches, the harbor, not to mention the artsy town itself, were awesome.  Mata Mata and Hobbiton were nearby … it was fun to see the hobbit houses.  The glaciers, bubbling beaches, the Milford Sound, boiling mud and geysers, glowworms…it was incredible!

You think what a great decision you made to come. Spending the semester in beautiful New Zealand and amazing Melbourne. "When will I ever have this opportunity again?" You begin to feel a little sorry for those left back at home just when your Australian friend taps you on the shoulder and says, "You're daydreaming mate". He is right. You rejoin the conversation planning your next adventure. However, in the back of your mind you are still patting yourself on the back for not missing this opportunity of a lifetime.

Quite different from the normal class week at your home campus isn’t it?  Are you ready to take advantage of this opportunity?  If so, contact us for more information. 


Save on Guest Student Tuition!

Guest students in the 2017 Down Under Program were charged a reduced tuition rate of $1,000 per semester hour.

"Recruit A Friend" Discount

All program participants have the opportunity to receive a one-time $250 credit toward tuition with the "Recruit a Friend" discount. The participant and all recruited friends must successfully complete the 2017 Program to receive the discount.  For more information contact [email protected].


How to Apply

Details about the 2018 Program are forthcoming.  The brochure and application materials should be available in June.  The 2018 course offerings are not final but will be similar, yet not identical, to the 2017 Program.

Contact Information and Mailing Address:

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
International Programs Office
300 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 371-5140
[email protected]

Travel arrangements and accommodations should not be arranged before WMU-Cooley officially notifies applicants of acceptance into the Program.

Note: Current WMU-Cooley students please visit our site on the portal for application information.

If you would like to receive information about foreign study in 2018, please sign-up for our program updates e-mail list. Also, contact us at the address above.


The Western Michigan University Cooley Law School will consider applications from law students who are enrolled in good standing at an ABA-approved or state accredited law school and have completed at least one year of law study before the start of the program. Students from other ABA-approved or state accredited law schools must ask their school to send an official transcript and letter of good standing to WMU-Cooley Law School verifying their eligibility.

Six students are participating in the 2017 "Down Under" Program (5 from WMU-Cooley Law School and 1 from another law school). The program has 40 slots.

Join our e-mail updates list

If you are interested in the "Down Under" Program, we encourage you to join our e-mail list. Those on our e-mail list are the first to know about the program. They also receive very special program opportunities for current and future programs. Don't miss your chance to be in on the loop the latest "Down Under" Program information. Add yourself today by clicking the link below -

Join our e-mail list. Click here.

Travel Information

U.S. Department of State:

U.S. Department of State: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

U.S. Department of State: Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts

U.S. Department of State: Worldwide Cautions

U.S. Department of State: Country Specific Information for Australia

U.S. Department of State: Country Specific Information for New Zealand

Certificate of Completion

Students who successfully complete a WMU-Cooley foreign study program receive a certificate suitable for framing and may note on their curriculum vitae "Certificate, (applicable year e.g., 2017) Australia/New Zealand Study Abroad Program, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School." It would be a misrepresentation to assert that you were a student of University of Waikato and Monash University.

Program Details

Top Ten Reasons To Study Abroad
"Down Under"

Listed in random order:

1. Explore Australia and New Zealand during its spectacular summer/fall season.

2. Learn from many top Australia and New Zealand legal scholars. 

3. Network and form friendships with students from law schools around the country. 

4. Experience group explorations to local legal institutions. 

5. Enjoy an extended stay in an exciting and diverse culture. 

6. Earn up to 12 credits.

7. Complement your resumé with an international legal education experience. 

8. Gain exposure to the world outside the U.S.

9. Choose from among several exciting international and comparative law courses. 

10. Gain a full semester of residency while on a foreign study experience. 

"Studying abroad with the Down Under program was an amazing experience. The guest professors in New Zealand and Australia were intelligent, dynamic, and inspirational. The professional and social events with the program gave us the opportunity to meet politicians, judges, and legal academics from all over the world and took us to some of the most breathtaking places Down Under. I never had the chance to study abroad in undergrad, so this experience was truly eye-opening and life changing for me -- I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in gaining a more diversified understanding of global legal systems and a deeper insight into themselves. Travel truly makes you a better person."
Luke Pears-Dickson, Seattle University School of Law, 2013 AU/NZ Student

Educational Objectives

Educational objectives for foreign study are:
1. encounter other cultures and legal theory and systems;
2. attend legal courses that are international and comparative in focus;
3. participate in legal events that familiarize them with the legal system of the host country;
4. gain an international and comparative perspective of the law; and,
5. experience daily living in a different culture.

An independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. The Law School, as an independent institution, is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. The Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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