Illustration by Mahgul Farooqui

J-Terms and Study Away 2017

NYUAD students have been placed in their J-Term classes and study away sites: where is everyone going, and how have people's experiences been in the past?

Oct 14, 2017

On Oct. 5, NYU Abu Dhabi students received their January Term decisions.
Students are required to take three J-Term courses throughout their four years at NYUAD. Starting with the Class of 2020, a minimum of one J-Term is required to be in Abu Dhabi. For the remaining two, one can be at a global site and one an Abu Dhabi based J-Term with an international trip. J-Terms are around three weeks long during which students engage in one intensive four credit-course.
For J-Term 2018, a total of 79 courses were offered. Among the courses with international trips are Re-Performing Death, which goes to Japan, Democracy and Its Critics, with a trip to Greece and Science and the Sea, with a trip to India. Re-Performing Death is a new course offered this year, with the first NYUAD sponsored trip to Japan, and was one of the most popular J-Term choices. Neyva Hernandez, Class of 2020, was happy to be placed in the course, as it was her first choice.
“Last semester I stayed in Abu Dhabi for J-Term, so I left my abroad ones for this year and [the] next [year]. I’m really happy with my J-Term. I got my first choice, so I’m going on a trip to Japan,” wrote Hernandez.
Kai-Wen Yang, Class of 2020, will be traveling to Uganda with the course Challenges in Global Health: Wash your Hands of it.
“I feel like I get to go to the places I wouldn’t have had the chance to go otherwise. I would have never imagined going to Uganda, and now it has become a reality,” said Yang.
Among the Abu Dhabi-based courses are Sustainable Development, Behavior, Economic Rationality and Behavior and Nationalism and Identity Politics. 311 students will be taking Abu Dhabi-based courses.
Among the the courses offered at NYU global sites are Children and Childhood in Shanghai, Creative Cities in Buenos Aires and Shakespeare and Cosmopolitanism in London. According to Global Education, J-Term courses abroad allow students to engage in cultural experiential learning. J-Term courses offered at global sites are more competitive, according to the data provided by Global Education, with 451 students taking them this January.
Filip Karan, Class of 2019, enjoyed his experience with his previous J-term course, Islamic Extremism.
“Islamic Extremism, the J-Term I took in January 2016, was not only an amazing J-Term course, but one of my two favorite courses that I have ever taken. The professor was very good at engaging students to participate and contribute to class discussion, and he also made us experience Washington D.C. in a way none of us had experienced a city before due to various trips to the White House, U.S. State Department and embassies. What was also great was that there was great cohesion among the students and between the students and the professor. Because of this, we still keep in touch with Professor Traub and go out for a dinner every semester as a class,” said Karan.
When applying for J-Term courses, students must rank their top seven course preferences. Each course is assigned a point value based on the location of the course, the academic requirement it fulfills, its popularity and potential prerequisites. As such, students must ensure that their preferences are within their allocated point budget.
Santina Cherian, Class of 2020, plans her J-term priorities according to factors like reviews on both courses and professors.
“Factors I consider when choosing a J-Term include the professor, location and of course the setup. I consider reviews, works, and information on the professor to see whether this is someone I would like to take a class with and learn from. I am excited for my J-Term class Social Media and Political Participation taught by Joshua Tucker in New York, which in the past has included meetings with representatives of social media companies as well as a one-day trip to Washington, D.C. to interview members of Congress and/or their staff members about the social media strategy of their office,” wrote Cherian.
Katerina Grim, Assistant Vice Provost of Global Education, explained what factors determine student placement for J-Term.
“Many factors are at play but the main ones are maximizing number of students in top 3 choices is highest priority, location of previously taken J-Term courses, and seniority,” said Grim.
According to Global Ed, 51 percent of students got their first choice course and 95 percent of students got one of their top three choices this year.
Argentina Mena is a Deputy News Editor. Email her at feedback@thegazelle.org.
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