Everyone has a Dream

At Bennington, we have big dreams. We asked current students to share theirs.

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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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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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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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Bennington’s academic structure requires that students take increasing responsibility for their own education, their own work, and their own lives. The self-direction of the planning process, the connection to the world through the winter internship term, and the ongoing attention of faculty advisors combine to provide students with internal sources of order that shape a Bennington education. Your imagination, your intellect, your discoveries are cultivated and increasingly govern your educational life at Bennington.

The Plan Process is the structure Bennington students use to design and evaluate their education. In a series of essays and meetings with the faculty throughout their years at Bennington, students learn to articulate what they want to study and how they intend to study it. They identify the classes they wish to take, as well as how those classes relate to each other and the rest of their Bennington experience: Field Work Term, tutorials, projects beyond the classroom, and anything else they undertake.

Drop in at any meal at the dining halls and you'll notice a common refrain as students begin gathering their things to leave: "I'm going to do some work." They refer to their studies as "my work," just as any scientist, writer, or artist would—because this is what they are becoming. When you visit campus, ask the students you meet what they're working on and what their current fascinations are. These are the kind of things you can expect to find in a student's Plan.