An IAP is an abbreviation of Internet Access Provider and is rather like an ISP.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the month of January is the Independent Activities Period, or IAP. It is a period between the two terms during which students get the chance to relax from the wildly hectic pace of MIT life. Very few for-credit classes are offered during IAP, but the month is filled with activities for the entire MIT community. A student can easily take an extra month for winter vacation, but there are enough interesting things going on on campus that most choose to return.

Any MIT affiliate can register to run an IAP activity, and most are open to the entire MIT community. Professors, students, spouses, and alums all participate, and there are activities for every interest. An IAP Guide is printed yearly which includes all activities registered through December, and an online version allows updates and new activities through January. Anyone with a passion for a subject or a hobby they wish to share can run an activity, and the offerings are as varied as students' interests.

Common activities offered most years include a wine tasting course (21 and over only), glassblowing and blacksmithing classes, introductions to cooking from around the world, the annual Mystery Hunt, and the infamous Charm School. The physical education department offers several for-credit classes as well, including the IAP-only downhill skiing class. Other offerings vary wildly, but there are normally several hundred activities to choose from.

If you're interested in learning more about IAP offerings, http://web.mit.edu/iap has information about the most recent or upcoming session. Freshman considering MIT are especially encouraged to visit the site.

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