Try Something

Pick up a violin. Or, better yet: make one. Each academic year, students have the opportunity to experiment with their passions and try something completely new during a seven-week, off-campus winter term called Field Work Term (FWT). In each of their four FWTs, students bring their studies to the world, confronting the challenges of implementation firsthand and refining their questions to further shape their on-campus experiences.

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14 Students, 1 Biologist, Lots and Lots of Fish

Bennington College biology faculty member Betsy Sherman took 14 students to the Cayman Islands for Field Work Term, in conjunction with her class Field Course in Coral Reef Biology. Students became certified scuba divers and gained first-hand experience studying coral reef fish biodiversity, collecting collecting valuable data to be used for research studies and governmental policy.

–All photos and video by Betsy Sherman.

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2013 FWT Photo Contest

The following photos are the 2013 winners of the Field Work Term and Career Development Office's annual FWT photo contest. Students submit photos from their internships, and the community votes on their favorites in each of four categories.

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FWT Photo Contest

The following photos are the 2012 winners of the Field Work Term and Career Development Office's annual FWT photo contest. Students submit photos from their internships, and the community votes on their favorites in each of four categories.

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Field Work

During an annual seven-week internship period, called Field Work Term, Bennington students are able to bring their studies to the world, confronting the challenges of implementation firsthand and refining their questions to further shape their on-campus experiences.

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Field Work Term: The World is Your Campus

Each academic year, students participate in a seven-week, off-campus winter term called Field Work Term (FWT). During each of their four FWTs, students take their interests to the world beyond Bennington, where they pursue jobs and internships in areas that complement their studies. By the end of their time at Bennington, students graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Metamorphosis Lab of the Audubon Insectarium, New Orleans, LA

"After a few weeks in the Metamorphosis Lab, butterflies emerge from their pupal stage as delicate winged adults. When their wings unfold and dry, the entomologists and I would collect and release the adult butterflies into a butterfly garden, where they are able fly in the open."

–Ava Sullivan '12
2011 Photo Contest Winner

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Mekentosj, Palo Alto, CA

"Mekentosj is an independent software company that specializes in software for scientists and researchers. I worked with a scientist and programmer out of Stanford University. While in the Bay Area, I spent my free time working on code with others and even was invited by Google to visit the Googleplex campus for a day."

–Steven "Max" Nanis ’12
2011 Photo Contest Winner

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Jingdezhen, China

"I decided on this FWT experience because I had just introduced sculpture into my academic plan and I needed more experience with it. I wanted to focus primarily on the process of glazing. I worked in a studio and went on outings to learn some of the history and background of the materials and processes we were practicing in the studio."

–Aimee MacDonald ’12
2011 Photo Contest Winner

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National Park Service, Big Bend National Park, Texas

"I worked for the Fire Management program of Big Bend National Park, and stared down the business end of a vast governmental bureaucracy. The pile burn depicted here took place in the center of a kind of dusty bowl, surrounded by scarcely any vegetation. The fire could not have escaped without the drive of hurricane- type winds."

–Ben Underwood '13
2011 Photo Contest Winner

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Tour Manager, Break Science, New York, NY

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Research Intern, Forest Research Institute, Jersey City, NJ

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Little Shop of Physics, Fort Collins, CO

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Intern, Americans for Democratic Action, Laconia, NH

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Music Apprentice for Artist Luis Castro, Santiago, Chile

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Conservation Intern, Baltimore Museum of Art Conservation, Baltimore, MD

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Sculpture Assistant, Cyprus College of Art, Larnaca, Cyprus

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Diversity of Marine Animals, Grand Cayman

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Wolf Intern, Wolf Park, Battle Ground, IL

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Independent Study, Hansard Scholars Programme, London, England

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Assistant Teacher, 4Uganda, Kampala, Uganda

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Research Assistant, Bimini Biological Field Station, Bimini, Bahamas

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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International Internship, Cross Cultural Solutions, Ghana, Africa

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Independent Study, Ecuador

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Intern, Redmoon Theater, Chicago, IL

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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Community Mentoring Program Developer, Chimbote, Peru

Every winter Bennington students spend seven weeks working off campus during an internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). FWT makes it possible for you to pursue jobs and internships that complement your studies and clarify your interests—before you graduate. After four years, you graduate with a résumé as well as a diploma.

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The world is your campus for seven weeks every year.

Each academic year, students participate in a seven-week, off-campus winter term called Field Work Term (FWT). During each of their four FWTs*, students pursue jobs and internships in areas that complement their studies—in fields ranging from publishing to politics, from museums to teaching, from medical research to social work.

By the end of their time at Bennington, students have acquired a body of work experiences, a set of references, a network of professional contacts, and most important, the confidence that they can make their way in the world. In effect, each Bennington student graduates with a résumé as well as a diploma.

The FWT and Career Development Office can help with every step of the job search process. In addition to hundreds of job listings, we offer a number of other resources to help you find or create a FWT job. Our office library includes books on internships in specific disciplines and job search skills, among other topics. We also offer guidance on writing résumés and cover letters, and present several workshops throughout the term.

*Transfer students may graduate with fewer than four FWTs, as they are only required to complete a FWT for each year they attend Bennington.