J-Term offers a distinctive learning experience, different from what can be offered during the fall and spring semesters. Students take one course full time for approximately three weeks. The courses are designed as immersive experiences: they intensify the student’s focus, reach beyond the classroom to incorporate experiential learning, and are often site-specific, connecting students to the place where they study.
Taking a single course over three weeks gives students more time for concentrated reflection on a dedicated topic than is the case during the semester when students must divide their time between several courses. The intensity of the shared experience also forges an unusually strong bond between the students and their professor. Despite their short duration, J-Term courses have a great impact because of its immersive character and linkage of theoretical and experiential learning.
J-Term includes options to study at NYU’s global network university (GNU) sites around the world. Intellectually linked to their locations, the courses take advantage of local resources; explore the history, culture, economy, and society of the host communities; and often involve collaborative activities with local students and faculty. GNU courses illuminate the interdependence of local knowledge and global awareness while fostering cross-cultural research and insights into complex, global issues. Some January courses will be taught over time at multiple sites to consider global issues in a specific location and context.
For example, Professor Tyler Volk taught State and Fate of the Earth in Abu Dhabi in January 2011, in Shanghai in January 2012, and will teach it again in Accra in January 2013. We anticipate that in future years, courses such as Critical Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Post-Catastrophe Reconstruction, taught in Abu Dhabi in January 2012, will travel to other GNU sites and link to local resources. Longitudinal research projects in conjunction with the global network courses allow students to contribute local data and perspectives to a long-term comparative study.
J-Term courses are taught by renowned scholars, writers, artists, journalists, and policy analysts as well as distinguished professors from NYUNY and NYUAD. Another distinctive feature of January Term is the pre-professional courses taught by faculty from NYU's professional schools.