Students Reflect on Immersive Global Learning Experiences

J-Term offered 1,200 students unique immersive experiences in the UAE and around the globe

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) students are back on campus following their unique academic journeys as part of January Term (J-Term) - a program held annually across three weeks at the start of each year that allows students to explore and engage with the global academic community of which they are a part.

This year’s J-Term saw 1,200 students take 83 courses in Greece, Italy, London, Singapore, India, Morocco, Djibouti, and Jordan, among other global destinations. The courses were each designed to help students delve deeper into their chosen topics and experience contemporary concepts through first hand field research during their travels.

Throughout J-Term, students had access to prominent visiting faculty and scholars including BAFTA and Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker Anthony Geffen; American political consultant Frank Luntz; and renowned geneticist, anthropologist, and author Spencer Wells, among others.

Testimonials from students who took part in J-Term underline NYUAD’s commitment towards creating 21st century global leaders able to respond to a complex and evolving world.

“Immersive Storytelling was an extremely engaging and inspiring course. The combination of valuable advice from experts in the VR industry, aid from the award-winning director Anthony Geffen himself and the field trips to various production studios made the course unparalleled to any I have taken thus far at university. It was incredible and an honor to be working so closely to Anthony, a pioneer in many aspects of the VR industry and learning directly from his team’s experiences. The course opened my eyes to a whole new area of the IM industry that I had not thought of much before and has actually made me consider taking more Interactive Media courses."


Suman Razi Ansarif, Class of 2021

“Upon first moving to Al Ain, we were nervous and confused students. However, upon leaving, not only did we realize that we could speak the language, but how extraordinarily fortunate we were to have the opportunity to not only learn about the local traditions and culture, but in fact live through them and experience them first-hand, whilst spending time with our Emirati families or out exploring on our daily field trips. After this class I can say with confidence that Arabic is one of the languages I can now speak.”


Lauris Paegle, Class of 2020

“J-term was an academically intense yet intellectually rewarding experience. I was lucky enough to visit different sites around the UAE including the DIFC Courts, Abu Dhabi Commercial Courts, and we had guest lecturers from serial entrepreneurs to lawyers speak to us. The different perspectives given by both the site visits and the guest speakers allowed us to best grasp the class concepts and apply them to real life.”


Sebastian Caro, Class of 2021

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.