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Announcing Spring 2024 GRS (Shanghai)

October 23, 2023

We are pleased to announce an exciting new Penn Carey Law Global Research Seminar (GRS), taught by Professor Andrea Wang, that will explore cross-border dispute resolution between the United States and China: “Dispute Resolution in the Global Conflict: The U.S. and China in the International Legal Order.”

This course will meet weekly throughout the Spring 2024 semester. During the spring break in March 2024, all members of the seminar will participate in a week-long research trip to Shanghai, China.

The GRS offers students an engaging classroom experience, an opportunity to do field-based legal research on an issue of critical global importance, and the chance to forge meaningful relationships with their seminar cohort and faculty. Past GRS participants have developed publishable research papers, made valuable networking connections, and deepened their understanding of cutting-edge issues in the law.

There is an application process for acceptance to this class, which is open to 2L, 3L, and LLM students. There are no prerequisites.


Course Description

The Chinese judicial system is sui generis, unlike any system with which U.S. courts and litigants have traditionally interacted. The Spring 2024 GRS is aimed at developing an understanding of cross-border dispute resolution between the two countries. It will examine key American and Chinese doctrines regulating private litigation that crosses the U.S.–China divide as well as key features of the design of respective judicial institutions. The course explores three questions: From the perspective of private actors, what are the challenges of navigating the two legal systems? How should judges and policymakers think about judicial relations with China? And how does the global conflict between the United States and China shape—and, in turn, is shaped by—dispute resolution affecting the two countries?

In the United States, seminars will address topics such as the scope of jurisdiction, the allocation of cases when they could be litigated in both countries, and the nature of courts and rule of law in China. We will listen to oral arguments, look at testimony before government commissions, and be in conversation with those whose work is deeply intertwined with the Chinese legal system. In Shanghai, we will meet with legal practitioners, visit law firms and arbitration centers, and learn about recent judicial developments, such as the establishment of new courts to attract litigation.

Students will take turns leading class discussions, select a research question related to U.S.–China dispute resolution on which to write a paper, and present their research findings at the end of the semester.

This three-credit course will meet on Thursdays from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. The class will spend the week of March 2–10, 2024, in Shanghai.


Transportation, Trip Fees, and Financial Aid

There is a program fee of $1,500 for the Spring 2024 GRS (for accommodations, in-country transportation, visa fees, and other programmatic expenses). The program fee assumes double-occupancy accommodations.

GRS students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own airfare to and from Shanghai and any additional travel-related expenses, such as immunizations. Some meals and cultural excursions will be covered by the program fee, but students will be expected to cover additional meals, sightseeing activities, and incidental expenses.

Students must hold a passport that is valid through September 2024 (six months after travel to Shanghai).

Penn Carey Law offers some financial aid to qualifying students. Additionally, students may be able to increase their loans to cover costs associated with this trip.


How to Apply

This class is open to 2L, 3L, and LLM students; there are no prerequisites for enrolling in the seminar. The application deadline is Monday, November 6. Instructions are provided in the online form below. Applicants must submit a short personal statement (of no more than 350 words) describing their reasons for wanting to take this class and their interest in the topic, together with a resume and unofficial transcript. Only students who are able to be a part of the March research trip should apply.

Students applying for financial aid should do so concurrently with the application process. To apply for financial aid, please send a separate letter explaining the basis for the need to the Office of International Affairs ( with the subject line “GRS Shanghai Financial Aid Request” by the application deadline, Monday, November 6. The letter should include any information that may be helpful to the committee reviewing the aid applications, including current loan status as well as any pending financial commitments or obligations. Application for financial aid will have no bearing on the admission decision.

Students can expect admission and financial aid decisions by November 22.

Apply here



Contact the Office of International Affairs (OIA):


Read about recent Global Research Seminars:

Climate Negotiations (COP 27–Egypt)

The High-Tech Nation (Israel)