J-Term or May Term?


Emily Kenny

Isabel Haas, Opinion Editor

Being someone who has benefitted from travel abroad opportunities in the month of January, it is hard to say whether or not changing interim to May will be just as beneficial to students.   

For most of the month of January, students have the opportunity to seek an internship, travel abroad with other BV students and faculty members, or stay on campus to take a class and earn money by working around Storm Lake or at BVU. This allows students to take advantage of opportunities that aren’t awarded at other universities, and like myself, students have gained a lot of experiences because of the opportunities available during J-Term.  

There has been discussion as to if J-term should be moved to the month of May, thus becoming May term. Most people hear of this news and assume nothing will affect the outcome of changing J-term to May term, however, there is much to consider before taking this leap.  

In terms of traveling abroad, there is so much that goes into the planning and execution of visiting another country. Although a majority of the travel plans are arranged by the trip advisors, there is a lot of preparation that a student has to do to ensure they are prepared to travel abroad as well. Most of these steps are lengthy and stressful, and with interim being in January, most of them can be completed in the Fall semester. Students that graduate in May would most likely be allowed the opportunity to partake in an interim course if it were moved to May, but traveling to another country the same month as graduation creates stress that few would be willing to take on. Additionally, if J-term were to become May term, students wouldn’t have the opportunity to have an internship that spans over the middle and late December to the middle of January.  

Although changing J-term to May term might bring about difficulties, it will allow student teachers, who student teach in the spring semester, an opportunity to benefit from participating in what interim has to offer. Most student teachers have schedules that vary depending on the grade they are teaching, location of the school and a few other factors, which leaves some to student teach in January. Also, if J-term were moved to the end of May, students might have an extra month to have a summer internship, which might not be available in January.  

The opportunity to have a month-long internship or to travel abroad during the school year is such a unique factor of BVU. Although there are benefits and downfalls of changing J-term to May term, the important thing to remember is that interim is still available to all students. 

As long as the opportunities available to students during interim aren’t taken away, adjustments can be made to changing the month that interim occurs.