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Michigan: Welcome (or Welcome Back!)

Welcome back to the blog for the second session of Summer Discovery here at the University of Michigan! For those of you who are returning following the first session, we are so glad to have you with us again. And for those of you who are either coming from the UCLA program, Penn State program, or joining Summer Discovery for the first time this week, we are thrilled to let you know about the adventures that are in store for you during your time here. After a recap of this past weekend, we’ll dive into more information about the fun that lies ahead!

This weekend we ventured to Chicago, where students participating in the 5-week U of M program or the UCLA-U of M combo program enjoyed the sights and activities that the Windy City has to offer. Our first stop on Friday afternoon was Shedd Aquarium. Located right on Lake Michigan, the aquarium boasts a vast range of aquatic life including sharks, sea lions, and beluga whales. While there, students took in a dolphin show involving flips and tricks to delight the crowd. From there we jetted off to Navy Pier, a 3,300 foot-long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. At this scenic location, students were able to grab some grub, listen to live music, and enjoy the spectacle of the carnival rides at the pier. In the evening, the whole group jumped on the Seadog boat tour of the Chicago skyline. As the boat sped around Lake Michigan with tunes blasting, our tour guide pointed out prominent buildings and interesting facts about Chicago and its shoreline. The exciting ride and breathtaking views as the sun set over the skyline created a memorable evening for all.

On Saturday, the day began with a tour of the beautiful campus of Northwestern University in the picturesque town of Evanston, IL. Our tour guides, all current Northwestern students, showed us around while discussing the admission process for the university as well as information about different schools of study. After the tour we journeyed to Michigan Avenue, also known as the Magnificent Mile, for an afternoon in Chicago’s premier shopping district. While stocking up on new purchases, students took in the awe-inspiring architecture and street art of the city. Later in the afternoon, the group ventured to Millennium Park to see the Crown Fountain and the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” After taking pictures in front of the stainless steel sculpture’s reflective surface, we departed for dinner at Home Run Inn Pizza near Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Following a bite to eat, a trip to a magic show featuring improvisation capped off the evening.

Sunday morning was bittersweet, as we had to say goodbye to our students travelling from the U of M program to UCLA. We will certainly miss them terribly but we are excited for them as they begin their next adventure! The remaining students packed up and shipped out to South Bend, Indiana where they were able to grab lunch and walk the gorgeous campus of the University of Notre Dame. The group then boarded the bus once more to return home to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus.

Back at U of M, students were arriving all day to their new home in Mosher-Jordan Hall. This evening, both our returning and new students settled into their residence hall rooms and met their new roommates and Resident Counselors (RC’s). Our friendly RC’s were on hand all day to provide help with signing in, unpacking, and learning more about the residence hall. Orientation to the U of M program occurred in the evening to outline the policies of the program and the exciting opportunities that the program has to offer.

Students then had some time at the end of the night to settle in, meet new friends, and hung out in the office lobby.

Tomorrow will mark the first day of classes for this session. Students will meet their teachers, receive syllabi, and gain a better sense of what they will be learning while here at Michigan. Those who are new will also get to experience downtown Ann Arbor for the first time and become more familiar with the shops and restaurants within the home area. Exciting upcoming activities that students have to look forward to this week include canoeing, Clueless Escape Room, Cedar Point, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, AirTime trampoline park, a tour of the Big House (Michigan’s football stadium), ZapZone laser tag, bowling, and so much more! We can’t wait to dive into these fun activities, and to help all students feel at home and make the most of their time in Ann Arbor. We look forward to sharing pictures and more blog postings during our time together, and we encourage you to continue checking in to keep up with the daily adventures!

Thanks for reading and Go Blue!

The Daily Wolverine for July 16th