Thanks to the generosity of Oberlin alumni donors and friends of the College, the Career Development Center offers funding for career-related summer experiences. These funds help offset expenses related to an internship, community service or pre-professional activity. It is one of many options to consider as students make plans to finance their summer experiences. 

The 2018 Summer Experience Funding application deadline has passed. The Career Development Center will notify students about their application status by April 27 and distribute awards in early May.

What can you do before you apply for funding?

1. Apply for full-time career-related opportunities that interest you.

Students can apply for funding if they are awaiting a response from the organization.

Funding through the Career Development Center is only available for unpaid, off-campus, domestic or international experiences sponsored by an established nonprofit organization, for-profit employer or government agency. The Career Development Center will consider funding students who receive a small stipend ($1,000 or less) from their host organizations.

The following experiences qualify for funding:

  • Internships (must be full time for at least 8 weeks or 320 hours)
  • Community service (must be full time for at least 8 weeks or 320 hours)
  • Pre-professional experiences including research and performance (must be substantial in intensity although the length may vary)

Funding can only be applied to travel and living expenses. Students applying for funding to participate in a tuition- or fee-based program (i.e. festival, language study, volunteer abroad, writing institute, etc.) must have a clearly defined experiential component with at least 200 hours spent on activities that classify as an internship.

2. Research potential related expenses and start working on your budget.

Funding can only be applied to travel, local transportation, housing, food and utility expenses related to the experience. However, students awarded the Susan L. Phillips Fund or the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fund will receive up to $5,000, which may be applied to tuition and fees to help offset lost summer earnings. The budget should only include summer expenses. See a sample budget .

3. Read Tips for Housing on the Career Development Center’s website for low-cost housing options.

Housing is usually one of the highest expenses during the summer. Housing expenses could be reduced substantially if you start to explore low-cost, and possibly free, housing early.
Tips For Housing

4. Review prior summer funding recipients’ summaries.

This information can help you generate ideas for a potential summer opportunities.

Previous Recipients:

5. If you are considering a summer experience abroad, read this information.

Advance planning is essential for a successful international experience. International internships, community service and research opportunities can be complicated due to visa restrictions, employment laws in other countries, and cultural differences.  Some of the study abroad programs that host Oberlin students during the semester also provide internship and research opportunities over the summer.  A list of those programs is on Oberlin’s Study Away website. You can also view a list of summer abroad programs .

In addition, the Study Away website has pre-departure instructions, a great resource to review before planning a trip. Students cannot receive funding for summer experiences in travel warning countries. If your summer experience is in a country that has been issued “travel warning” by the U.S. State Department, please read the College’s travel warning policy.