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Go Beyond the Classroom during JanTerm

Your curiosity is a priority at Austin College

That’s why we give you three weeks every January to focus on one class. Immerse yourself into unique opportunities that allow you to travel abroad, explore real-world careers, and stretch your talents in focused courses on campus.


2024 On-Campus JanTerm Courses

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Examine practical steps to improve you overall approach to learning and put your new strategies into practice by learning to knit. You will learn and discuss current ideas about how learning works and document your process of learning a new skill through daily reflections and an end of course photo-story. 

This course will help you engage with fundamental principles of game design in a supportive and collaborative environment, in order to provide you the tools necessary to create your own games.

Parents and relatives: “What are you going to major in at Austin College?” Me: “I don’t know yet!”. Strange looks. There is an inherent desire in most individuals to have a set plan in place to land that perfect “JOB”. Guess what? There is no linear path to a perfect career or a fulfilling life; and a major or minor will not determine your life’s work.

Everyone eats, and anyone can cook, so why do people think that only a scientist can do experiments. Every time you step into a kitchen you are applying chemical and physical principles to transform biological molecules into something that looks and tastes good. Molecular gastronomy is the study of how to apply scientific concepts to make food more than just something to eat, but also to be an artistic expression and a social phenomenon.

In this course, you will pay attention to the grammar and syntax of movies-things like cuts, camera movement, lighting, scene structure, and sound design-and examine how they interact with the acting, dialogue, and plot to create a movie. You’ll think about what it means for a movie or its parts to “work” or “not work,” through discussion and through reading the work of professional film critics.


On Campus JanTerm Courses

Join your classmates on campus for one-of-a-kind courses like using science to bust myths, learning the craft and chemistry of wine-making, exploring East Asian cuisine, prairie restoration, 3-D game design, or building an art car. With over 25 courses offered each JanTerm, you will find a course that sparks your curiosity.


JanTerm: One Month that Can Change Your Life

This is a big claim but one that we stand behind, but don’t just take our word for it.
Read what current students and alumni have to say about JanTerm

Trinity Naile '24

Viva Panama!

"By far the most impactful experience was this huge hike up to this beautiful look out spot. Quickly my thighs began to burn as this hike was the steepest hike I've ever been on by far. It was very challenging, but with every single step I heard my inner monology encourage me. Reminding me that I've got this, and to just keep going. In some ways, this hike allowed me to meet a new friend: the part of me that fearlessly believes in my ability to do challenging things."

Trinity Naile '24

Travel JanTerm Courses

The world becomes your classroom for three weeks, as you explore, immerse, and learn abroad (or within the US), with your classmates and a faculty member.  With over 99 countries visited and an eclectic course selection, read more about our latest course offerings and start dreaming about where your travels will take you while at Austin College.

Exploration. Immersion. Adventure.


2024 Travel JanTerm Courses

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Scotland is a place that grew from myth. Almost anyone with European roots can trace their ancestors back to a Highland glen or a Scottish loch. But the Scots, in spite of carving an existence out of nothing more than oppressive poverty and from under the shadow of foreign rule by everyone from the Romans to the Celts to the Vikings to the English, nevertheless managed to make some of the most significant contributions to religion, history, culture, science, and politics ever seen in western culture. This course is a study of the development of the “idea” of Scotland through the exploration of its history, religion, and culture, and all illustrated by its ruins. With visits to as many as 50 sites, you will spend 20 days immersed in the remnants of Scotland’s past while also having the opportunity to experience modern life in towns and cities across the country.

This course is a tour de force of the history and culture of the central highlands of Mexico. From the ancient ruins of Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan, Cholula, Cacaxtla, and Tula, to the ancient, colonial, and modern cities of Mexico City, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Queretaro to the picturesque towns of Bernal, Xilitla, and Tequisquiapan; we will see it all! Our travels include visits to cultural sites, museums, and NGOs at El Zocalo, Templo Mayor, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City. We will also visit Puebla, Tlaxcala, Teotihuacan pyramids, and the surreal tropical gardens of Xilitla where you can take in adventurous activities like hiking and ziplining. You will be immersed in history, art, architecture, and culture on the plaza, at the market, in museums and at other sites around town.

Travel to Ghana to learn about healthcare treatment, diagnosis, education, access, & training in a healthcare facility that performs some of the most complex surgeries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Explore and experience the health realities that Ghanaians face amid challenges created by social, environmental, cultural, and economic forces. You will get the opportunity to experience Ghana’s health care system firsthand by shadowing and interacting directly with both private and public health care practitioners.

Traveling to Vienna and Paris not only to learn more about coffee’s history but to live with coffee for more than three weeks, to explore every facet the mysterious bean has to offer, including its colonial history and the socio-cultural impact of the beverage. We will spend about equal time in each city. In hands-on workshops with local coffee professionals we will learn to make our own coffee, scrutinizing all the important parameters that are necessary to make a superb cup. Preparing coffee is a science and an art, and we will study various parameters such as grind, tamp, extraction techniques (such as espresso, pour-over, immersion), water, concentration, milk steaming and more. In addition, we will explore many of Vienna’s and Paris’s famous cultural sites such as monuments and museums.


JanTerm is a perfect time to learn about and evaluate your future career opportunities and receive an academic credit with our Career Study off Campus (CSOC) program. Leverage the three weeks to test drive the world of finance, shadow a physician, or any other career fields that interest you.