On Sep. 6, the Office of Global Education sent [an update] (https://students.nyuad.nyu.edu/academics/global-education/january-term) to all NYU Abu Dhabi students stating that January Term 2022 will only be offered in Abu Dhabi. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, rise of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in many J-Term destinations, the administration deemed it unsafe for students to travel internationally during such a short and intense period as J-term.
The challenges faced by the university were summarized in the email as follows.
Covid-19, particularly the Delta variant, is surging in many J-Term locations, creating stricter requirements for entry to those countries and back to the UAE.
Vaccination rates vary among J-term destination countries, with many still well below the 70 percent needed for herd immunity. Even in countries with high vaccination rates, the number of cases caused by the Delta variant is rising.
Some J-Term destinations may require faculty and students to quarantine for six to 12 days upon arrival, while J-Term lasts only 18 days and regional seminar trips typically last only 3-7 days.
Classes held abroad face the possibility of a sudden lockdown in the host country and potential delays in getting students to their spring semester locations.
If a participant in the course tests positive for Covid-19, others in the class may have to self-isolate.
The Office of Global Education also mentioned that the current seniors, juniors and sophomores also have the option of graduating with only two J-Terms as long as they meet all other graduation requirements, including the 140 total credits.
The Gazelle reached out to Daeun Jung, Class of 2024 and Head of the Global Affairs Committee, to understand how they perceived this change.
Jung described the reason for the change in J-Term policy: “The university decided that, given the uncertainties associated with the pandemic, it is not the right time to organize J-Terms abroad. Remaining fully in Abu Dhabi would help the university to better ensure the students’ safety.”
The Global Affairs Committee gauged student responses to this change by collecting questions and concerns through a survey, and by checking student Facebook pages.
Jung summarized their findings: “As far as I know, many students were disappointed that no global J-Terms would happen. However, they seemed to accept the situation as they are aware of the uncertainties associated with the pandemic.”
Muhammad Mueed Asif, Class of 2024, reflected on the changes he had to make to his academic plans. Many students, like Asif, had already made their four-year plans and were hoping to choose their courses and locations accordingly.
“This change has been crucial for me because I was planning to go abroad for this J-term, but now I will need to make changes to my four-year plan and adjust accordingly,” shared Asif. Looking forward, Asif attempts to get placed in a core class as he hasn’t taken any core classes yet.
Students were also hoping for J-Term courses to be offered online or in a blended format. However, on Oct. 8, the Office of Global Education announced that all J-Term Courses will remain in-person
. As a result of this change, the application deadline for J-Term is also extended until 11:59 p.m. GST on Oct. 9.
Asif also hoped that he could take online J-Term so that he could spend more time at home with his family: “If it would have been online, it would have been better as we would have got more time for a break at home, but now we can’t as classes are fully in-person.”
Vimal Karimbhai Minsariya is News Editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.