About Around the Square January 19, 2010

Winter Term 2010

Amanda Nichols And Danny Rosenberg In Spain
Amanda Nichols and Danny Rosenberg in Spain

The vast majority of students welcomed the chance to pursue academic interests outside their usual coursework during Oberlin's first winter term in January 1969. In all, 1,900 conservatory and college students took part in an array of individual and group-study projects, including fencing, modern dance, yoga, and a meditation workshop conducted by two visiting monks. More than 250 students volunteered in schools and hospitals, law and architecture offices, and as research assistants to consumer activist Ralph Nader.

Today, winter term is among the deciding factors used by prospective students in choosing Oberlin. Winter term is also part of the reason why Oberlin recently placed 21st among the top 40 baccalaureate institutions in the number of students studying abroad in the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2009 survey. While large universities dominated the rankings in terms of absolute numbers of students going abroad, the survey found that smaller schools, like Oberlin, sent a higher proportion of their students to other countries. Oberlin was the only baccalaureate institution in Ohio to make the top 40 rankings.

Last year, students worked in refugee centers, the theater, quartets, and much more. This year as with last year, students are invited to add their experiences to the winter term website. Here’s what some of them are up to:

Swimming and Diving Training Trip
Senior Dan Holm blogs from Key Largo, where the swimming and diving team is training during January.

Senior Robin Comisar blogs from Kabul, where he is teaching Afghani youth to skateboard as a volunteer with Skateistan. Comisar says the school uses the sport to promote confidence, team building, social development,  and education. Skateboard students also take lessons on language or computers in the same building as they practice their skateboarding moves.

Phakumba Social Development Project
Juniors Sage Aronson, David Ohana, and Suman Giri are collecting data on the social infrastructure of Phakumba, Nepal, with which they will inform and refine their skeleton social-development model.

Obies in Spain
Sophomores Amanda Nichols and Danny Rosenberg blog during their culinary tour of Spain.

OSCA Nicaragua Delegation
Four students led by senior Alice Ollstein, coordinator of OSCA’s Nicaragua Sister Partnership Committee, are visiting San Juan de Limay, Nicaragua, where the committee’s partner, the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers, is located. OSCA maintains a micro-loan fund for unionized women farmers in the area, and the 2010 delegation delivered a $5,000 contribution to the fund, which OSCA members approved at the end of fall semester.

Touring with the Belles
Juniors Carlos Lorant and Daniel Fryland and first-year Alex Kotlikoff are following the Black River Belles on their winter-term tour.


Other Related Winter-Term Stories:

A Mid-Winter’s Day Dream
Winter Term in South Africa
Winter Term in Oberlin

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