From Cambodian village schools to Half Moon Bay alpaca farms, from water purification projects in Haiti to pilgrimages in the Holy Lands, Saint Mary's unique January Term courses offer students the chance to step out of their everyday course of studies and learn or do something extraordinary.Take a look at some of our many course websites below for a sampling of the amazing things Saint Mary’s students have done during Jan Term. But use caution: Jan Term experiences are infectious!

  • Cambodia: Inspire to Build Clean Water and Education Access

    Saint Mary’s students have traveled to the Kingdom of Cambodia on a mission to bring clean water and education to underprivileged communities. With a focus on humanitarian work and service learning, students received a hands-on opportunity to both lend a helping hand and experience Cambodian culture.

  • SMC Haiti: Inspired Collaboration

    Traveling to the nation of Haiti, students are using their skills to produce multimedia projects to help understand and share Haitian culture. By participating in direct service work, the class is also helping to rebuild Haiti from the January 2010 natural disasters that affected the country.

  • Rwanda: “Turi Kumwe” – We Are Together

    Some Saint Mary’s Gaels are having the opportunity to travel into the African country of Rwanda. They are working with children in orphanages, visiting national parks, experiencing genocide memorials, speaking with ambassadors and learning culture from citizens and artists. Check out the class’ online photo album as well at

  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Sustainability and Service in Palugo, Ecuador

    Students have made their way to Ecuador to get a dose of what living close to the land is really like. Goals on the trip include learning how to grow and harvest food, cook meals, compost waste, felt wool and build with adobe using traditional practices. Living and working together, students in Palugo learn the ins and outs of sustainable living.

  • Ireland, the “Terrible Beauty”

    Gaels have fittingly found themselves in the land of the Emerald Isle, exploring the land, people, history and culture of Ireland. Using various written works, this Jan Term adventure takes the class around the entire country, introducing students to what it truly means to call oneself Irish.

  • Around the World in 28 Days

    The art of travel journalism is explored right from the friendly confines of the Bay Area. Students have the chance to explore the many offerings the Bay Area boasts, including trekking with llamas and visiting the Wine Country in Napa. All the travels are chronicled online and writing skills blossom with each unique trip.

  • Sundance Film Festival

    Students experience one of the best 10 days in filmmaking at the ever popular and world-famous Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Learning to examine and interpret these films, students traveling to Utah, receive all the tools to examine the multidimensional medium that is the film.

  • Eat Your Words: Adventures in Food Writing for the Epicurious

    Hailing all those who live to eat, not eat to live, the tasty tool of food writing is explored as students travel the Bay Area to taste their way to the perfect food article. Learning about the politics of food and the history of food writing, student blogs tell the tale of how food can inspire all kinds of creative and informative writing.

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