January Term at NYU Abu Dhabi is a distinctly impactful part of the NYUAD curriculum. Since the inaugural class matriculated in 2010 – thousands of students have discovered new things about the world and themselves. Courses include an exploration of the pervasiveness and impact of plastic in our world in the UAE and the Philippines, working with advocates for people of determination in Zambia, collaborating with Khaleeji musicians in Kuwait, and experiencing an on-the-ground view of the US presidential campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Washington DC.
All NYUAD students take one course full-time for approximately three weeks in January. These J-Term courses are designed as immersive, concentrated experiences in the UAE and abroad, going beyond the classroom to incorporate both theoretical and experiential learning. They are often site-specific, offering substantive cultural exchange by connecting students to the place where they study.
J-Term courses in 2020 are designed to explore crucial topics impacting the world around us today. Students can choose from a vast range of topics. For instance, a course titled Plastic Fantastic will look at the role of plastics in the modern world, exploring everything from the environmental impact of plastics – and plant-based alternatives – on the environment, to ethics in plastic surgery, all through the lens of how art, design, and technology can play a role in future problem solving. Students will also travel to Manila to study the plastic recycling industry.
Students taking American political consultant Frank Luntz’s Electing the President: An Up-close Look at How American Elections Really Work will hit the US presidential campaign trail and hear from some of the most influential figures in American politics on site at the primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. Engaging Khaleeji Musical Heritage: An Introduction to Applied Ethnomusicology will take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the intersection of applied ethnomusicology and heritage studies to develop a deep understanding of both Khaleeji Arab music, and culture more broadly. Students will travel to Kuwait to work with the Mayyouf Mejally Folkloric Ensemble Boom Diwan.