At USF, students have the opportunity to set their own pace in January. The unique month referred to as Interim, or J-term, allows students to customize the four week session to fit their specific needs and maximize their college experience before the spring semester starts in late January or early February each year. Whether students are looking to travel abroad, serve on a mission trip, intern at a local business, explore a new topic, pick up a needed class or simply rest—interim enhances the college experience.

Here are five ways students customize their Interim experience at USF.

Explore a new country with your closest friends.

Many students take the opportunity during interim to explore a new country and experience a new culture—and create unforgettable memories with their closest friends. 

Serve in our local community or a community across the globe.

Service is an integral part of USF’s identity. Culture for Service is a mindset that is carried out through students, faculty, staff and alumni into the world. Over Interim there are opportunities to focus on service both globally and locally.

Dive into an interesting course.

American Slave Narratives is just one of the 54 course offerings students have taken advantage of over Interim. The four-week period allows students the opportunity to dive deeper into a chosen course. Many students use the time to take general courses like Biology to get ahead. Full-time students are allowed to take four credits at no cost during Interim. Some students decide to take a heavy course load over Interim to fast track themselves toward graduation. Although a variety of courses are offered, students also enjoy taking special topics courses that are taught only over Interim.

Prioritize self-care, rest and boost your bank account by taking the month off.

Students have the freedom to take the month of Interim off. Sophomore Katie Movick has capitalized on the benefits an extended break can offer.

“Taking a break from all classes during interim was good for me because I got to relax, spend time with my family and friends that I hadn’t seen and make a little extra money from my at-home job. While Interim is a great opportunity to get another class taken care of, I also think that taking some time off from classes is a great option that helps you feel more prepared for the spring semester ahead,” Movick says.

Gain career experience with an internship.

Internships are a great way to use the month of Interim to gain real world experience. USF’s Thomas Kilian Academic Success Center is proud to offer support placing students in relevant internships and guiding them in USF’s online job and internship database.