Students are expected to complete projects during winter term that are academically relevant, rigorous, experiential, and educationally rewarding.

Viable projects include those that involve academic study, field experience, and or experiential learning—including internships and community service. Your advisor and or your project sponsor will help you craft a project that meets these goals.

Consider the Basic Options for a Winter Term Project

All winter-term projects fall into the following general categories: group or individual; on campus or off campus; and full credit or half credit. All projects require a sponsor. Please also discuss possible winter-term projects with academic advisors. We encourage you to consider a variety of options, including the following:

  • What do I hope to learn?
  • Do I want to work alone or with a group?
  • Do I want to work on or off campus?
  • Will I do one full-time project or combine two half-time projects?
  • What relative weight will I give to reading, writing, creating, performing, research, and practical experience?
  • Can the project be completed in one month?
  • What will the project cost?
  • Are there adequate facilities in Oberlin or elsewhere?
  • Will I need instruction or supervision, or can I do my work independently?

For the complete lists of group projects for the upcoming winter term or to register for a group or individual project, apply on the Winter Term Projects website.

Group Projects

Some winter-term group projects are offered every year, but many are one-time opportunities reflecting the interests and expertise of sponsors and participants in that year. Group projects for the coming winter term will be listed online; new listings will be posted as they are received.

Individual Projects

Individual projects require an online written registration application.  All winter-term projects undertaken must have an on-campus sponsor.  Faculty members and, under some circumstances, members of the administrative and professional staff, may serve as project sponsors.

Finding a suitable sponsor is largely a matter of matching student and faculty or staff member interests. Students may design their own projects and or seek guidance from their sponsor, who will help plan a project that is academically relevant, rigorous, experiential, and educationally rewarding.

Individual Project Grants

The Winter Term Committee annually awards a limited number of grants for individual student projects. These awards are need-based and also consider the educational merits of the proposed project. The grant application is embedded within the project application—all students will have the opportunity to request funding when they apply for their project.  An individual grant may not be applied to customary tuition costs, such as for student-taught secondary applied music lessons.

Things to note:

  1. Projects involving interviews, surveys, etc. may require approval from the Oberlin College Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the start date. Information on the IRB application process can be obtained from the IRB website.
  2. Students planning to travel to a country with a State Department Travel Warning for any college-sponsored activity in which either Oberlin College credit is earned, Oberlin funding is used, or transfer credit is applied toward a degree must be granted a waiver to the Travel Warning Policy. Please see details on the policy and the waiver process. Countries currently on the Travel Warning list are posted at Travel.State.Gov .

International Projects

Oberlin encourages students, staff, and faculty to use winter term as a time to develop and participate in projects outside the United States.

Individual International Projects

Individual students will work with their project sponsor and the Office of Winter Term’s associate director for international programs to plan, implement, and report on their project.

For International Medical Information, refer to these agencies:

  • Center for Disease Control
  • World Health Organization
  • Vaccination Fees

For Safety and Security Information, refer to these agencies:

  • U.S. Department of State, Country Specific Information
  • Students Abroad

Internships/community Service

The Career Development Center reaches out to alumni and parents to identify exciting internship opportunities. Learn more about these internships and see examples of previous internship sites  Access current winter-term internship opportunities in your Handshake account.

Questions? Contact the Career Development Center at 440-775-8140 or .

Winter Term Community Service Opportunities

Students can find a detailed description of community service projects and are encouraged to apply online by uploading a resume and cover letter on Handshake.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until filled.

Questions? Contact the Bonner Center for Service and Learning at 440-775-8055 or .