Beginning this summer, Oberlin students, regardless of their financial situation, will be able to take advantage of new support for internships, field research, and service-learning opportunities abroad.
Oberlin has received a four-year $150,000 grant from an anonymous donor to establish the International Study Fund available to first-years, sophomores, and juniors interested in applying. The fund will help cover the cost of airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation, and other expenses associated with travel abroad. International students are also eligible to apply as long as their visa allows them to participate in an internship or study opportunity within their selected country.
Oberlin has a strong tradition of educating students to think globally about themselves and their place in the world, says Ellen Sayles, associate dean of studies and director of programs for international study. Oberlin students study abroad during the semester or for a full year and, in increasing numbers, during winter term.
“For some students, however, being gone during a semester or winter term is not a realistic option,” she says. “More and more students are interested in using the summer months as a time to explore career, research, or service-learning opportunities. Oberlin currently sponsors the Oberlin-in-Italy program and the Sangro Valley Project during the summer months. Finding the resources to afford a summer international opportunity can be a daunting task. The International Study Fund is a four-year project to help bridge the gap for students during the summer months.”
The International Study Fund also forms the core and is the first building block of a larger project called the Global Scholars Initiative. The initiative, which is a collaboration of the Office of Study Away, the Career Center, and the International Studies concentration, aims to provide students with practice-oriented opportunities that can build skills to better prepare them for graduate study and careers in international affairs. Other parts of the initiative include visiting faculty practitioners and an annual symposium.
For summer 2015, the college will offer five stipends of $5,000 each. The number of stipends will increase to seven in the second year, eight in the third year, and 10 in the fourth year. The deadline for this summer’s applications has passed.