This past Field Work Term, while at Transom.org, I made a dear friend who was working on converting his epic 11 month walk across the United States into an hour long radio piece. He whittled over 85 hours of audio into what are some of the most beautiful and human moments I’ve ever heard. There are excerpts posted here on cowbird. Check out the full story here.
- jason ‘13
As an Alabamian, I feel compelled to assuage your fears of the Vermont snow.
A couple of things to know. 1.) Field Work Term means that you get to leave Vermont for the worst of the winter. 2.) The efficiency of the snow-plowing that occurs here is incredible. 3.) It does get pretty cold, but it also gets surprisingly hot here by May.
With added love from Jesse (from South Carolina).
- jason ‘13
Hey, dude. Our apologies for the mix-up. Unfortunately I’m not sure how appropriate it really is to give out students’ names and contact info when they aren’t officially affiliated with Admissions. It can invite fan mail and stalkers (not really but kindasorta) and we don’t want to subject anyone to that when they haven’t explicitly signed up for it. We can’t help it if our non-Admissions student body is so interesting/attractive/suave/studly that they invite e-solicitation from strangers.
But honestly, there’s only ~700 of us here on a given day. Chances are actually pretty good that you might run into one (or more) of the students from that video if you were to drop by campus for a visit sometime this spring. So, I’m sorry I can’t give out anyone’s name in particular, but I can guarantee you would find plenty of Bennington students who are more than willing to talk about their FWT experiences (law-abiding and, perhaps, not) if you find yourself in a position to be able to just strike up a conversation sometime. Hope this helps.
I think students here hold the school to an incredibly high standard and thus have some strong opinions. Personally, I think the language that the school is ‘falling apart’ is melodramatic, but not everyone would agree with me. These posts, I think, speak more to the seriousness of our students than they do to the state of the school. Bennington will always be going through changes because we are always trying to get the school as close as possible to the values that drive it. In a sense, if you join our community, you should be concerned: Bennington students get involved and engage in discussions about these issues. But you shouldn’t be worried.
As for FWT, I would say you are getting a pretty fair portrayal between this blog and some of the articles on the BFP. We all make judgement calls regarding money going into FWT — balancing realism and idealism is a real world lesson, too.
Also, I think it’s important to note that these “burden FWT” articles aren’t reflecting any change in the nature of FWT. Not everyone has 4 amazing FWTs. In fact, I don’t know if anyone has ever had 4 straight FWTs that met every one of his/her expectations. However (and I think that we only realize this after FWT is over), we can always learn something about ourselves and our aspirations during an internship, even if the internship is not great, or even awful.
And I will happily second Alan’s point about “falling apart” being an overstatement. Yes, President Liz Coleman is leaving, but she is staying on for the next 2 years as Director of CAPA, and will definitely continue to have input re: Bennington’s direction well into the future. Apparently, she’s apartment-hunting in North Bennington, but that might just be a rumor. Also, we have no idea what the Office of Student Life will be like without Eva.
As long as Bennington College is full of students, faculty and staff who are invested in nurturing and following the values and ethos of this institution, it will not fall apart.
A link to another current student’s response can be found here.
Absolutely! I think it’s safe to say that people who want to go abroad generally do go abroad. I just sat down for a quick chat with Kate and Kendra from Academic Services and they told me that between 30 and 40 students generally study abroad per year, which is prettyyy impressive given how small our school is. Of course, studying abroad has to fit into your Plan and overall inform your education in some fantabulous way. For example, if you’re a potter, going to China to study the world’s oldest pottery is totally feasible. And as a Spanish student, my heading to Latin America or Spain to study the language (AND EAT ALL THE FOOD) makes total sense. But since you do need to have written your Plan before you can jet off somewhere, the absolute earliest you can study abroad is the second term of your sophomore year, though it’s really preferable to do it in your junior year. The logistics will be heavily discussed with your academic advisor, your Plan committee, and Academic Services though, so it’s not all on you to figure everything out! They’ve got your back.
As far as funding your study abroad (dun dun dun)… When you study abroad, you’re on a “leave of absence” and are technically not a Bennington student for the time you’re away. Therefore, your financial aid that you normally receive from the college can’t be applied to whatever program you go with. However, your Study Abroad Advisor will do everything possible to help you find scholarships and grants to apply for, and federal aid can also be used for studying abroad, which reaaaaally helps cut down on costs.
Field Work Term is waived for students that are studying abroad. But if you really want to get out of the house or flesh out your resume, you can do it anyway over the summer or even stay abroad during FWT itself to complete an internship. (Woah. Think about it. How awesome would it be to take fall classes in Colombia and then herd llamas in Peru for FWT?!) But anyway. It’s awesome that you’re thinking this far ahead about stuff. DREAM BIG. You can find a general overview of studying abroad here, but if you have any questions or just wanna talk wanderlust, feel free to hit me up at email@example.com. We can even shop for backpacks and boots and make a pretend itinerary. Y’know. Just for funsies. :)
Go for it, that’s how we all refer to it! Happy writing.
~ Holly, ‘13