{ The Fall 2015 Virtual Panels! }

We try to give you as many opportunities as possible to get to know Oberlin. There are emails and paper mailings; we travel across the world and the US to various high schools and community-based organizations; we offer visit programs on campus, as well as tours and informational sessions throughout the year.

But it's not feasible for everyone to visit campus. And even if you do attend an info session or a high school visit, or flip through our viewbook and earmark your favorite pages, or gorge yourself on the blogs, or correspond with a professor or a current student — well, there are still plenty of things to learn about Oberlin, and plenty of questions that are as yet unanswered.

So, to help you get those questions addressed, we're hosting three virtual student panels this fall!*

The panels are scheduled for an hour each. They will be livestreamed on this blog and then archived on YouTube (so if you can't participate during the panel itself, you can always watch it when you do have time). We'll be able to take questions in the comments section of this blog, so feel free to start queuing up your questions now.

While the panels are themed, they are open for anyone to watch. We try to give them a bit of focus to help guide your questions, but remember that these are Obies and they have a whole host of communities and experiences on this campus that they can speak about.

The panels will be:

  • Sunday, October 11th, 10AM EST — international focus
  • Wednesday, November 11th, 7PM EST — general campus life
  • Monday, December 7th, 7PM EST — underrepresented communities

Our panelists are looking forward to this opportunity to engage with you. Please feel free to start asking your questions now in the comments section!

Our fist panel of the fall was livestreamed on October 11th. Thank you to our wonderful panelists Thanisa, Clover, Lujza, and Hassan!

:30 - Introductions
2:25 - How did you learn about Oberlin?
7:00 - How did you choose to apply early or regular decision? What were the factors that helped you decide between them?
11:36 - Oberlin has an amazing reputation for professors as mentors. Can you speak to the overall talent of peers? How do they push and support one another in critique and collaboration?
17:21 - Explanation of winter term
23:41 - Where have you found support on campus? Who has become your mentors?
31:47 - What was your biggest adjustment in coming to Oberlin and the US? What has helped you make that transition?
36:00 - What are the opportunities for entrepreneurship? What kinds of projects have been supported?
40:04 - Think back on your time as a applicant.
46:27 - What advice would you give your high school self about college applications if you could? What would you say to senior year you?

We had some technical difficulties with our second virtual panel, and have had to split the panel into two videos. Big thanks to our four panelists — Charlotte, Michael, Sam and Shannon — for their time and answers!

Part I of the second virtual panel:

:32 - Introductions
2:57 - Why Oberlin?
6:04 - https://myspace.com/thebucketkickers/music/songs
7:15 - ExCos
10:40 - Winter term
15:10 - Do you gain different kinds of credits based on ExCos?
16:52 - What's general social life like? Do students get out to Cleveland often (do you need a car)? What are the popular things to do?
22:42 - What is dorm life like? What are the different options? And how integrated are Con students in dorm life?
29:29 - Are Oberlin students consciously awake? What spaces are available for debate/discussion?
34:50 - What is the LGBTQ community on campus? What support exists?
39:02 - Study abroad! Non winter-term study abroad!

In the moment, our livestream cut out and we thought we'd lost a few minutes of footage, so we have a recap of some of the previous questions here in part II of our second virtual panel:

:30 - What is the LGBTQ community on campus? What support exists?
9:01 - How would you characterize the rigor of the academics at Oberlin? Are students challenged to think outside the box?
15:00 - Looking back at the college search and application process, what is a piece of advice or tip you wish you'd had during your senior year of high school?

If we didn't get to your questions tonight, we'll address them during our next panel on December 7th or our panelists will address them directly on the blogs. Thanks for joining in!

Our final panel, held on December 7th, featured Jenny, Linda, Nyquon, and Sammie.

:31 - Intros
2:07 - Why Oberlin?
4:58 - How do people with different backgrounds interact in the community? Is there noticeable separation between social groups, or do people mingle?
7:45 - What are the different housing options and where have you lived? What are the differences between the co-ops and program houses?
14:52 - How well integrated are the Arts & Sciences part of the college and the Conservatory? How can you get involved if you're not in the Con?
18:28 - What's the vibe on campus? is there a family feel?
23:55 - How did you navigate the financial aid process?
30:28 - How would you characterize the academics? What about your technology needs on campus?
36:15 - What is work study and what kinds of jobs are there on campus (or off)?
42:02 - What helped your transition from high school to college? From home to the small town of Oberlin?
55:24 - Would you say that the students at Oberlin are consciously awake? Do students participate in respectful debates? Is there enough difference of ideas that you can have debates?
59:44 - As we're now in application season, what advice would you give to your high school senior self?

* We've done this before; if you want to see what a virtual panel is all about, check out one of our past panels.

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{ Responses To This Entry }

I am an international Dominican-American Visual and Studio Artist, currently at a performing arts school in MA. I know Oberlin has an amazing reputation for professors as mentors, but can someone speak to the overall talent of peers in the Visual and Studio Arts Department and how they challenge, push, and support one another in critique and collaboration? What could I expect?

Posted by: Yan Diego Wilson on October 7, 2015 12:01 PM

Hello there,

I'm Leonardo and I am from Namibia (southern Africa).

As an international student do I stand a better chance of gaining admission if apply via early decision or if I apply via regular decision?


Posted by: Leonardo on October 11, 2015 10:05 AM

Thanks for your responses. Did you submit the SAT subject tests in addition to your SAT 1?

Posted by: Leonardo on October 11, 2015 10:29 AM

Please tell me more about the Entrepreneurship at Oberlin program.

Posted by: Leonardo on October 11, 2015 10:32 AM

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not so rigorous and 10 being very rigorous) how rigorous is Oberlin in terms of academics? Does one get challenged to think outside and beyond the box etc?


Posted by: Leonardo on October 11, 2015 11:08 AM

I want to learn more about the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies major, the Psychology major, and the Education concentration. I am interested in the process and logistics of how I can double major and study the education concentration within my time at Oberlin. Also, what is the process involved with the education concentration and getting a teacher's certification?
Thanks so much, I am looking forward to the panel!
Emily Pollack

Posted by: Emily Pollack on October 18, 2015 5:47 PM

How would you describe the school spirit at Oberlin? Is there lots of turnout to on-campus events such as sports events or rallies? Also how is dorm life at Oberlin. Dorm size?

Posted by: Conrad on November 9, 2015 3:38 PM


Would you say that the students at Oberlin are consciously awake? Do the students participate in respectful debates and share their opinions?

A school can be racially diverse, but that does not mean that it is integrated. Would you say that Oberlin is an integrated college?

what are some of the L.G.B.T.Q clubs on campus?

What is a typical Friday/ Saturday night on campus?

Thank you

Posted by: Asher gill on November 10, 2015 12:58 PM

Im in love with Oberlin, and I'd love to go there for college. I was wondering if you have any types on how to strive to get in? Also, would it be bad if I want to live off campus?

Thank you, Destiny.

Posted by: Destiny Rivera on November 11, 2015 3:59 PM

Hi! I've visited Oberlin before, but I came during a break, so not many students were at school. I was wondering if it's common for students to go off campus often (i.e. to Cleveland)? I know that there are tons of great things to do on campus, but do most people have cars to drive around, or do they take buses/taxis?

Posted by: Kelsey on November 11, 2015 6:17 PM

Which activit├ęs and clubs are most popular and actively attended?

Posted by: Katie on November 11, 2015 6:56 PM

Could you please talk a little about dorm life and the housing at Oberlin?

Posted by: Katie on November 11, 2015 7:01 PM

How intensive is the course load for a double major as opposed to a single?

Do you find that having a liberal arts curriculum ever distracts from your major or prevents you from getting the intensive education in one particular area that you could get in a career specific program?

Posted by: Kaitlin on November 11, 2015 7:13 PM

Do you gain different types of credits, like a science or history credit, depending on the Ex-Co you teach?

Posted by: Schuyler Skinner-Jones on November 11, 2015 7:15 PM

Hi there!

Do you know if there any art therapy courses or other opportunities related to art therapy specifically, like ExCos or clubs?

Is there a lot of support in the major/minor decision-making process, and could you talk a little about the individual major process?

Thank you so much for your time!

Posted by: Della on November 11, 2015 7:17 PM

Have you guys traveled during a studied abroad, had a semester at sea, or a similar program during your time at Oberlin not including winter term?

Posted by: Pearse Anderson on November 11, 2015 7:19 PM

How well integrated are the Arts and Sciences part of the college and the Conservatory? How much overlap is there with classes, living, eating, extracurricular, etc.?

Posted by: Ariana on November 11, 2015 7:22 PM

Do you get to know people in your class very well? Do you classify yourselves by class, major, dorm, culture, gender identity, (etc.) or are there no divisions whatsoever?

Do you meet and keep a lot of friends, or is it a more "everyone's friendly" and you might have a few better, closer friends?

Posted by: Ariana on November 11, 2015 7:29 PM

What is the technology/social media presence like on campus?

Posted by: Della on November 11, 2015 7:30 PM

So are program/themed houses like sororities/fraternities, or are they just more exciting and engaging houses? What about co-ops?

Posted by: Ariana on November 11, 2015 7:32 PM

How does one change their housing? How easy is that process?

Posted by: Ariana on November 11, 2015 7:42 PM

Hello, I am first generation, and I am really excited to have the opportunity to further my education. This is something that was either never affordable in my family or was not encouraged. I am from a very rural family, so I have a very different background from most of my current classmates. How do people with different backgrounds interact in the community at Oberlin? Is there a noticeable separation between different social groups, or does everyone just mingle together? At my previous high school, there was an drastic difference between different social groups, but I ended up in the most diverse friend groups there, which I preferred. At at my current high school, the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, I see much less of the differentiation between social groups when it comes to friends groups. I want to attend a college that is more like that, where people from all backgrounds can interact without it being a big deal. How would you describe this aspect of the culture at Oberlin?

What is the LGBTQ+ community like at Oberlin? Is it well integrated into the community as a whole?

Thank you all so much!

Posted by: Savanah Dale on December 7, 2015 2:37 PM

Good Evening ,
As an African-American female, I am curious of what clubs or organizations there are specifically for African-American students at Oberlin, and those for female empowerment?

I may not be home from a prior engagement during the time of the virtual panel, but if you have the time you can reach me at the Email given : leahcamille6@gmail.com

Thank you for your time!

Posted by: Ileah Wallace on December 7, 2015 2:41 PM

This question is a little odd, but with the conservatory, how big a part of campus life is music for college students?

Posted by: Max DuBois on December 7, 2015 7:09 PM

Hi, thank you so much for your time. I have a lot of questions:

What is the chess club like socially?
How has being a Quest Scholar affected your ability to integrate culturally?
Are you happy that you chose Oberlin?
How would you compare your college experience to others that you've read about?
How would you describe the music experience, especially in the instrumental (orchestral, symphonic,chamber) department?
What's your favorite part about Oberlin?
What is your interaction like with the city?
What is the campus feel?
Is there a family vibe?
Do the academics challenge you?
Does the coursework overall challenge you?

I know it's a lot, but any answers you have would be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by: Michaela G. on December 7, 2015 7:12 PM

Hello. I am a first generation college student, and I was wondering: How would the panelists would characterize the academics at Oberlin?

Posted by: Madison on December 7, 2015 7:12 PM

I'm pretty enamored with Oberlin as a whole, but I really wanted to know what the Native American population at the school is like. I was literally the 0.001% at my first school, and I want to know if I'll have to be the 0.001% again next year.

Posted by: Sam on December 7, 2015 7:16 PM

As a student whose ability to attend Oberlin is largely dependent on the financial aid available by the college, I want to know how satisfied you were with your experiences with the financial aid office. Thank you!

Posted by: Sheng on December 7, 2015 7:18 PM

I come from north of Boston and I've never been to the Cleveland area before. Where did you come from and how have you found adjusting to the new surroundings?

Also, I am a vegan who has only ever met one vegan, and I usually can't eat anything at the restaurants my friends go to. Are there many options for vegans at Oberlin? How is the feeling toward vegan and vegetarian lifestyles?

Thank you for your time!

Posted by: Justice del Castillo on December 7, 2015 7:18 PM

Hi!! I visited Oberlin last month (for MVP!! Hi Linda!!) A question I have - how was your transition from high school to Oberlin? Anything that really shocked you? Were you overwhelmed?

Thank you so much!

Posted by: Scarlett Ossorio on December 7, 2015 7:20 PM

Okay, I'll just throw a flurry out.

What is the music scene around the school like?
How easy is it to double major in two different subjects?
Are employment opportunities available on campus, and if so, what does a freshman need to do to find a job?
How competitive do students get between each other?
How would you describe the culture in terms of school spirit and support?
What is the percentage of Oberlin graduates securing a job within six months of graduation?

If any of these were answered I would be extremely grateful.

Posted by: Sam on December 7, 2015 7:31 PM

I go to a boarding school and I have definitely experienced culture shock at my independent school, how have you guys been supported through your own culture shock? And have you had the opportunity to support others?

Posted by: Monet U. on December 7, 2015 7:32 PM

One concern with Oberlin that I've had is that it is very, very liberal. My problem with that is that when everyone agrees there can be a lack of elevated discourse. Have you experienced this sort of dilemma?

Posted by: Max DuBois on December 7, 2015 7:32 PM

Are any of you all a member of a Community Based Organization like A Better Chance or Prep for Prep and have you been able to find community in that at Oberlin? Also, have you been able to stay involved with that at home?

Posted by: Monet U. on December 7, 2015 7:40 PM

Nyquon spoke a little about being shocked into getting their stuff together- can you all go down and share your majors/academic interests?

Posted by: Monet on December 7, 2015 7:46 PM

When and where did you all find your niche or friend group?

Posted by: Monet U. on December 7, 2015 7:51 PM

I read from one of the student blogs that joining the OSCA as a first year was one of the best choices he has made. I'm interested in joining, but my parents are rather reluctant about the idea. Can I hear more about what life is like as an OSCA member, especially how rooms are shared?

Posted by: Karin on December 7, 2015 8:21 PM

I also want to major in environmental studies! How are you enjoying it?

Posted by: Leevegar on December 8, 2015 10:17 PM

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