Study Abroad


Most Oberlin students who participate in a study away program agree that it is a life-changing experience that enhances their vision of the world and themselves. All interested students, regardless of major, have the opportunity to spend a semester away on an academic program. Each year over 300 students take advantage of this opportunity and study in every corner of the planet. (And did you know that Oberlin currently ranks 3rd out of the top 40 Baccalaureate Institutions for total number of study abroad students, according to the Institute for International Education's 2012 Open Door report?) Students typically choose from Oberlin-sponsored programs or over 90 affiliated programs.

Oberlin offers several unique programs of its own, such as the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program, in which students study abroad with Oberlin professors in the heart of London. It combines the thrill of living in a pulsating metropolis with the rigors of a first-rate education. The program's courses make intensive use of all that London has to offer by plunging students into the city as a part of the class experience.

If you find the prospect of leaving Oberlin for an entire semester daunting, there are many opportunities to study abroad during winter term or summer break. In January, Oberlin sponsors numerous projects involving volunteer work or courses abroad, from studying Spanish in Mexico to volunteering at a refugee center in Belgium or a bilingual secondary school in Costa Rica. Enterprising students even design their own travel plans for the month and spend time reading French literature in Paris or teaching English in Kenya.

In the summer, Oberlin offers two study abroad programs: Oberlin-in-Italy and the Sangro Valley Project. Oberlin-in-Italy is hosted by the Conservatory of Music and is an annual summer program in Arezzo, Italy for musicians and liberal arts students. Students gather in the heart of Tuscany for this five-week program that combines intensive language and musical study with an immersion into Italian culture. The Sangro Valley Project is a research program and four-week archeological field school for undergraduates located close to the town of Tornareccio, Italy.

For more information, visit the Office of Study Away.

Blog Entries Related To This Topic:


posted by Teague Harvey '19 | After finally finishing my shaky sophomore year, I say goodbye to Oberlin for the next 8 months, and prepare for my most audacious adventures yet.

Art and the Art of the Flânerie

posted by Emma Davey '18 | My time in Paris is nearly over. Here's what I spent a good chunk of time doing.

On Permanence

posted by El Wilson '18 | A post in which I spend a fair amount of money to go through quite a bit of pain and deeply enjoy it.

Vive les Cultural Differences

posted by Emma Davey '18 | Surprise! Living in France is not the same as living in America!

When Having Fun Isn't Fun

posted by El Wilson '18 | The struggles of studying away.

Winter Term, 2nd Edition: Guadalajara, Mexico

posted by Teague Harvey '19 | This year, I spent the month of January living in a completely new country, learning Spanish from scratch.

From Paris to Prague

posted by Emma Davey '18 | The land of beer and bridges.

Scooters and Cigarettes

posted by Emma Davey '18 | Everyone in France has a fix for either.

Settling Down

posted by Lilah Drafts-Johnson '18 | As I settle back into a community I will be with for the next 1.5 years, I want to pay homage to the places and people who have hosted me this past year.

Au Revoir

posted by Emma Davey '18 | Saying goodbye to the year and the country.

Sophomore Slumped

posted by Kameron Dunbar '19 | It's not all that they said it would be.

Athletics while Abroad

posted by Lilah Drafts-Johnson '18 | For the student-athlete considering going abroad -- I say go for it.

On Sharing a City with Donald Trump for a Semester

posted by El Wilson '18 | Guess who's studying "abroad"!

Español y yo

posted by Lilah Drafts-Johnson '18 | Two years ago I took my Spanish 101 final -- now I'm studying for finals at a Chilean university.

Farther from Home than Ever

posted by Lilah Drafts-Johnson '18 | I was studying the downfall of democracy in Chilean politics when I checked the polls for the first time on Election Night.

Studying Here, Studying Away

posted by Tom Cline '18 | With a busy class schedule, study away paperwork, and some new jobs, I've managed to keep myself very busy this semester! As I get ready for my study away program next semester, I try to recap my study away application experiences.

Houses, Homes, and Home Bases

posted by Lilah Drafts-Johnson '18 | Study abroad has made me think a lot about the word "home."

First Impressions: Across the Pond

posted by Brendan Nuse '17 and Frances Casey '17 | In which we figure out what we're doing here.

Letters From Home(s)

posted by Brendan Nuse '17 and Frances Casey '17 | A post as cheesy as Grandpa's Cheese Barn, in which we write letters to each other from across an ocean.

Thoughts on solo travel

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | Adventure and food poisoning!

Self-Care Abroad

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | A semester abroad is not a semester away from life--and that's okay.

South American Travel

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | Exploring the big ole country of Argentina.

Blogging Across Oceans: Oberlin and Kunming

posted by Brendan Nuse '17 and Frances Casey '17 | The start of the semester in two very different locales.

Study Abroad Schoolin'

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | I'm taking some cool classes here in Buenos Aires!

Vida en la Ciudad (City Livin')

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | Buenos Aires vs Oberlin, OH

Cocina argentina

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | The main food groups.

Buenos Aires 2k15!

posted by Esther Espeland '17 | Plot twist, I'm currently in Buenos Aires!

Ten Things I Have Done This Semester That I Never Ever Thought I Would Do, or, Why You Should Study Abroad:

posted by Karalyn Grimes '16 | Still on the study abroad blog flow, breaking it down with an essential list of all the reasons why you should spread your wings and fly away, aka study away during college.

My Feet Were Here: A Pedal Guide to London + Questions of 'Making It'

posted by Karalyn Grimes '16 | I want to tell a story of where I have been, where I come from, and where I stand.

Sights from Copenhagen

posted by Ben Reid '16 | ...and all the other places I've visited in Europe on my semester abroad!

Thoughts From Copenhagen

posted by Ben Reid '16 | All about my semester abroad in Denmark.

There and Back Again, and Again, and Again

posted by Margaret Saunders '16 | Oberlin, Prague, and advice for prospies on making your big college decision.

A Newly Londoner Obie With A Bunch of Questions

posted by Karalyn Grimes '16 | This co-blog post is brought to you by me and fellow blogger Emily Wilkerson, and by the fact that I am studying abroad in London this semester!

Resolve to Action: Winter Term + Opportunity

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | As well-intentioned as our resolutions may be, perhaps focused goals are more useful.

Ryba Na Suchu (Fish Out of Water)

posted by Margaret Saunders '16 | "Mlivíte česky?" The beginning of my semester in Prague.

The Study Abroad Series: Lessons Learned and Some Advice

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | I didn't just bring tchotchkes back to Oberlin with me, I also brought some intangible things, new words, new experiences, and of course, lessons learned.

Summer Classes?!

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Now that I've jumped the hurdle that is finals week and gotten a little bit of distance from my classes, I figured I'd finally write about them.

Home is Where I Am: Some Scattered Thoughts

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Attempting to articulate my thoughts on place, home, and my relation to it. (Boy, study abroad sure can make these things complicated.)

Studying Abroad, Claiming Homes

posted by Simbarashe Runyowa '15 | In this experimental blog I reflect on my semester in France by exploring the notion of home as I move through 3 cities : Paris, Rome and Harare.

The Man Who Spat in My Face: A Homecoming

posted by Charlotte Ahlin '15 | I definitely don't ever read trashy romance novels, definitely not, not ever.

You Can Take the Girls Out of Oberlin...

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | ... but you can't take the Oberlin out of the girls.

Biking Around Munich

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | When I travel underground, I miss out on a lot of what's going on in Munich. That's part of why I decided not to buy another U-Bahn semester ticket and have instead devoted myself to biking. I haven't been biking around the city for too long, but I've already started seeing the city differently (and sweating a lot more).

A Danubian Journey

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Oberlin is a small place, but because I ended up there and followed where my academic interests led, I've gotten to see the world, or at least a small section of Central Europe.

Hello from Hyderabad

posted by Charlotte Ahlin '15 | Study abroad, now with 100% more coal mine!

My Top 8 Reasons for Studying Abroad

posted by Simbarashe Runyowa '15 | My study abroad so far is teaching me that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.

The Study Abroad Series: Why stay for a year?

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Although I've lived in Munich for more than four months, I still have a lot to learn about my new home. Since coming to that realization, I'm so glad I chose a yearlong study abroad program.

Paris Paris Paris is where I wanna be

posted by Simbarashe Runyowa '15 | I'm learning to speak Parisian, among other things.

Au Revoir, 'Murica!

posted by Simbarashe Runyowa '15 | I'm going to study abroad at the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po) in France.

We'll have Thanksgiving after all

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | How I ended up with two deutschen Thanksgivings.

The Study Abroad Series: Speaking Denglisch and Studying German

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Studying abroad isn't all fun and games. At the end of the day (or in my case, the beginning of it) I do have to go to class, do homework, and make it all happen auf Deutsch. Here's what I'm learning about.

The Study Abroad Series: Finding a Program

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | The first post in my study abroad series. A bit later than intended, but still full of information about finding and applying to programs that interest you.

What I Dug Up On My Summer Vacation

posted by Margaret Saunders '16 | 26 days, 33 students and specialists, and many, many cups of gelato: working with Sangro Valley Project.

On the Next 15 Months

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | In which I reveal that I'm studying abroad next year (yes, for the whole year). Surprise?

Flying the Coop

posted by Griff Radulski '14 | For real this time. Here's why I'm leaving, and why I'm coming back.

The London Program goes to the movies

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | Now you can see what all the excitement's about.

Mrs. Dalloway's House: The London Adventure

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | London is such an inexhaustible city that there's never going to be enough time to feel you've seen it all.

The Adventure Begins

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | You know the feeling when something that has existed only in your imagination suddenly starts to take shape in reality? Well, that's exactly what the past week has been like.


posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | We're sending some new bloggers to the European bureau. Meet them here.

Some thoughts on liminality

posted by Eli Goldberg '12 | Earlier this week, Brandi asked all of us what our favorite word was. My answer: "liminality" -- the state of being in-between, caught between two states of existence, on a threshold...

Endgame. And after.

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | In which a professor wrestles with time, flirts with an existential crisis, and wins the lottery.

Honey! I'm Home! (but oh--)

posted by Abby Ryder-Huth '13 | Watching Harry Potter on the plane home yesterday did not fulfill my wish to land in a place where everyone still had British accents.

Mo-zhe lee da o-sta-nuh da spuh too-ka?

posted by Abby Ryder-Huth '13 | Travels in Bulgaria, coming home to London. Things I relied on: my phrase book, the kindness of strangers, and painkillers.

A Very Brief Guide to London NW1

posted by Abby Ryder-Huth '13 | Life on Albany St and beyond.

"I know the moon / And this is an alien city."

posted by Abby Ryder-Huth '13 | London, week one. It's sort of like Ohio except not at all. For instance, flowers are growing.

Shelter from the storm

posted by Eli Goldberg '12 | I am beginning to think of Oberlin as a secret society, or a religion, some bizarre underground cult. Once you discover that it exists, you can't go anywhere without running into fellow initiates.

Somewhere in England; or, why Gandhi is my homeboy

posted by Eli Goldberg '12 | Toto, we're definitely not in Ohio anymore.

Oberlin in London

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | Why the semester you don't spend in Oberlin can be the most valuable part of your Oberlin education. For one thing, it raises the stakes.

I love London. And I love Oberlin because it's going to bring me back.

posted by Abby Ryder-Huth '13 | I went to London, and saw all the wrong things. It was marvelous and exhausting, so I only wrote two paragraphs. You can read them here.

First week back!

posted by Sam Jewler '10 | In my first week back I'm learning about the Supreme Court and revisiting the time I ate strange pig parts in Spain.

A letter to my Spanish host mom

posted by Sam Jewler '10 | It's been five months since I got back from Spain, and the nostalgia only grows stronger.

Go West

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Dan stood in front of the bulldozers and blocked the construction for hours before they hauled him away. Why weren't there hundreds of people with him? Thousands?

A foot in each world

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | I can't decide if I'm excited to go back to a traditional academic setting--to actually read novels again and discuss theories in the safe confines of a classroom--or apprehensive that I'll be frustrated not to be learning by doing, not to be out on the frontlines of the issue that moves me the most.

Why my blog is still about Oberlin

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Some seem to think I've strayed from the original purpose of the blog--giving prospies an unmediated account of Obie life--yet here are the ways my experiences here in Arizona have a great deal to do with far-off Oberlin.

Intolerance is the new black

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | "The people who come here illegally across the border are not educated people," Ms. Richardson said. "They don't have any culture or any respect for ours."

Desert Dynamics

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | A few things I learned on yesterday's patrol with the Samaritans, a group that sends a group out to the desert every day looking for migrants in need of water, food, medicine or simply a friendly face.

Attacking the Chain

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Amnesty International just released a pretty horrifying report on immigrant detention in the U.S. calling the system "broken." What can we do about it?

Where do I begin?

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | After not blogging for my entire trip (thanks to spotty Internet access and barely any free time), I now find myself at a loss for words.

Winter Term Abroad

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | I've always thought that leaving the country is one of the best ways to spend January.

The Power of Euphemism

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | A handy glossary of border terms. More to come.

Saints and Sinners: Two Days in Altar

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | To learn the routes of migration, we did in a couple of easy hours what takes most migrants four excruciating days.

Let it Snow!

posted by Prof. Steve Volk | There's much to be said about adverse conditions, turmoil, and challenges. They have a way of cutting right across a number of boundaries which previously seemed unalterable.


posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Today my program spent the afternoon in court. It's not what it sounds like.

Students and Samaritans

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | What if good intentions and a strong desire to "make a difference" aren't enough?

A Guest in My Own House

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Living with a host family is a difficult adjustment after two and a half years in Oberlin's dorms.

Vulnerability and Culpability

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Drugs, thugs and racism: a smidgen of what I've learned so far on the border.

Tucson isn't Oberlin, and other orientation lessons

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | Tomorrow marks both the end of the Border Studies program orientation and the end of Bush's reign. Now the real work begins.

Crossing Over

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | I crossed the border for the first time today, and witnessed firsthand the tragedies and ironies of our immigration system.

"Abroad" is Relative

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | This ain't your momma's study abroad.

Returning: Waiting for the shock

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | My first few thoughts on returning to Oberlin after a year studying abroad.

Study away: My advice

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | I have one week to go in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before I find myself completely overwhelmed readjusting to life in the U.S., I thought I would share a few pointers for anyone who thinks studying abroad is in their future.

Cultivating a passion for globetrotting

posted by Yitka Winn '09 | We also had an accidental four-hour stay in Bratislava, but hey, spontaneity and learning to roll with it is part of the adventure of traveling.

Dining on tennis shoes and other such mishaps

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | I am learning more and more that there is no single moment when you suddenly become fluent in a second language.

Music here, music there

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | My second semester abroad is finally winding down, so I decided to look back and share a couple anecdotes that highlight differences in music and music education in the U.S. and Argentina.

Getting things in order

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | Yesterday, my friend Ezra and I put the finishing touches on our application to teach our ExCo (Experimental College) class on Experimental Typography for a second time. It was easier this time around; all we had to do was update the syllabus, update our budget request, and complete the short application from the ExCo committee. No faculty recommendations, no interviews this time. It really couldn't have been easier. That is, unless we were on the same continent.

Obies in the Holy Land

posted by Max Strasser '09 | Sorry for my hiatus from the Obieblogosphere, but I'm in Jerusalem, working at an internship and enjoying the Middle East. But Oberlin is never too far from my mind. Here's a quick update.

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