We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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On studying abroad

Jessica DePaz ’14
“I embraced that experience because it helped me learn a lot more about myself. I found my voice, my interest in learning different languages, and my interest in teaching.”

On touring with his sextet

Terence Hsieh ’12
“Friendship is the bottom-most rung on the ladder of music: the best jam sessions, the best solos, and the best memories are shared on stage with people who can lose themselves in each other.”

On the shock of arriving in Indonesia

Jonathan Pincus ’83
“I managed to get to the Menteng Hotel, where I witnessed an oversized rat execute a bellyflop into the hotel pool. That night I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. I hadn’t.”

On academics at Oberlin

Toussaint Mears-Clarke ’09
“Understanding the subject matter of any class at Oberlin is an undertaking that requires a deliberate purpose of mind. Professors bring you to understand a subject without ever just giving you the...

On spending a winter term in France

Megan MacDonald ’13
“There was certainly a lot I didn’t know when I got off that plane in the Paris airport. If my time in France taught me anything, though, it’s that there’s a certain beauty in not knowing.”

On teaching jump rope in Tanzania

Mike Fry ’09
“It may seem unconventional. You’re right - it is. That’s part of what drew me to Oberlin. What I see on a daily basis are students who aren’t afraid to try something completely new, entirely...

On America’s first black president

Myrina D. McCullough ’69
“I’m glad and proud that I … and countless other Obies who have also shared their stories here all rejected the paralyzing fear of “otherness” that keeps people apart and keeps our world fragmented.”

On the Oberlin Orchestra China Tour

Nicolee Kuester ’10
“... in spite of the stress and discomfort, my memories of the tour are overwhelmingly dominated by those moments of recognition that we experience only when we travel, the overriding reminders of...

On what a student co-op in Oberlin has in common with Nicaragua’s strongest union

Alice Ollstein ’10
“As we sat in my host mom Jacinta’s kitchen, I felt like a true partner, fighting alongside the UNAG because we want the same things for the same people.”

On her semester abroad

Nora Frederickson ’10
“What does dancing on the bar of a rural Austrian disco have to do with an Oberlin education? (Answer inside!)”

On her winter term in Tokyo

Amy Hourcade ’15
“I was thrust out of my comfort zone, thanks to Oberlin, and have never been happier.”

On studying away

Peter Nguyen ’16
“I’m very passionate about exploring the world because I believe experiencing many different cultures is integral to developing a wider understanding, as well as a deeper connection to one’s self.”

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