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 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.”

On biking across Japan

Andy Bartholomew ’07
“From March 15th to June 10th, I cycled from Kyushu to Nagano. Nearly every day I flash back to some moment of my trip to Japan. I’ll hop on my bike, or see a train, and I’ll remember my first day...

On studying the legacy of war in Nicaragua

Rachel Berkrot ’15
“I set out to learn from the village’s people by gathering oral histories of those who were living during the war and learning how it changed their lives and their country.”

On habits developed at Oberlin

Anne Hoffman ’08
“I spent mornings at Black River, nursing coffee and developing an addiction from which I have no intention of recovering. I read political theory that made my brain feel like it was on fire. I read...

On spending a semester in Tunis

Rachel Colwell ’10
“Intrepid or crazy, there I was, jumping off the deep end, learning to swim, learning about other people and about how to be myself in a new place.”

On moving to India after graduation

Anne Richmond ’83
“There is nothing like being immersed in another culture -- no longer being the majority -- to force one to recognize what profoundly cultural beings we really are.”

On studying abroad in France

Rachel Ippolito ’13
“I was lost. But rather than moping around in disappointment, I decided to embrace the novelty of all that was around me.”

On moving to China

Beth Rogers ’07
“I struggled in basic conversation, couldn’t communicate emotion, couldn’t deal with the subtleties of the language at all, and couldn’t read anything ... in some ways I think I re-discovered the...

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