Experiential Learning

Habitat for Humanity Volunteers
Amherst students volunteer
for Habitat for Humanity.

In the Lab
Emma Fink '11 works in
Professor Goutte's lab.

Azlan Smith '10 in Vietnam
Azlan Smith '10 spent a year
studying in Vietnam.

Center for Community Engagement

Outreach is an integral part of life at Amherst. You can get involved in a number of interesting projects that help the community or raise awareness of an important issue. Opportunities to make a difference start at Orientation, with an optional three-day outreach experience in the nearby town of Holyoke. Volunteering continues throughout the year, with classes that incorporate service learning, winter and spring break service trips and programs sponsored by the dozens of service-oriented student groups on campus.

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) opened in the Fall of 2007. The mission of the CCE is to link service with learning and foster the personal growth and social change that results from cooperative relationships between students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.  The CCE facilitates cooperation between student groups and assists in the development of effective student leadership. In addition, the CCE sponsors several public service internship programs that allow students to work in full-time, high-quality summer internships in the Pioneer Valley and throughout the world.


An internship might solidify your career interests—or inspire you to refine your plans. Either way, it's an indispensable way to spend a summer or Interterm. Amherst's Career Center will help you explore thousands of internship possibilities around the country, along with 100 paid internships that are sponsored by Amherst alumni. Amherst students have interned at sites ranging from the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia to NASA to the Environmental Protection Agency.


Respected and renowned for their scholarship, Amherst faculty members invite students to collaborate on research or conduct their own student research into everything from genetics to modern Russian literature to health economics. Wherever the research takes place—in the lab, in the library, on the computer or in the field—you'll gain valuable experience. And you may have a chance to present the results of your research at a national conference or see your name listed as co-author of a journal article.

Off-Campus Study

Amherst offers a remarkable range and depth of resources for learning at the college—plus opportunities to study beyond campus. You might deepen your knowledge of the sea at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, or study the Bard's works at Amherst's Folger Shakespeare Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. Through the Twelve College Exchange program, you can study at Bowdoin, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wheaton or Williams Colleges or Wesleyan University.

Study Abroad

More than 40 percent of Amherst juniors spend a semester or year studying abroad and many other students participate in work or volunteer opportunites abroad. Some study abroad to deepen their skills in a particular foreign language; others go to experience a different living and learning environment. Amherst students choose among more than 260 study-abroad programs in such countries as Argentina, Egypt, France, Hungary, India, Israel, Russia, Senegal and Spain. With sufficient planning and guidance from Amherst's study abroad advisor, you can learn overseas no matter what your major.


Habitat for Humanity Volunteers