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Frequently asked questions for CHANGE Leader applicants

What is CHANGE?

CHANGE is Oxfam America’s national student leadership program for rising sophomores and juniors. The yearlong program requires that accepted applicants attend a weeklong training in the summer. CHANGE Leaders commit to join or form an Oxfam Club and to implement an Oxfam campaign on campus during the 2014-15 academic year. Each year 50 students are selected from the US and around the world.

The 2014 CHANGE training will take place in Boston July 19-25, 2014. Selected students must commit to attending the entire training.  Oxfam covers all costs associated with students attending the training; flights, food, and lodging during the week in Boston.

CHANGE is entering its 15th year this summer. We have trained over 700 CHANGE Leaders from more than 300 college and university campuses across the US.

How do I apply?

Students will need to find a campus adviser who is able to write them a recommendation. Student applications and adviser recommendations are due April 1, 2014.

Please visit our CHANGE Application page to create an account. From there you can fill out a student application. You will be asked to provide the contact information for your campus adviser.

Once you submit your application, your adviser will receive an email asking him or her to fill out an online CHANGE adviser recommendation. Please remember that applications are not considered complete until both the student application and the adviser recommendation have been submitted online.

Why do I need an adviser? What is the role of an adviser?

A CHANGE adviser can be any staff or faculty person at your school who knows you well enough to write a recommendation regarding your leadership abilities. In addition, this person will serve as an on-campus resource throughout the CHANGE year. Advisers serve as mentors and help make campus connections, provide feedback, and guide the process for events and activities on campus. Some advisers are very hands-on, while others are less involved. Students and advisers together determine how they will connect and work on campus.

When will I be notified about acceptance into CHANGE?

Students will be notified about their acceptance into the program by May 1, 2014.  We are not able to inform students of their acceptance prior to this date.

Is my campus a CHANGE campus?

It is not necessary for a campus or an adviser to have been involved in CHANGE previously to be considered for acceptance.  Students from new campuses are accepted every year.

What is the time commitment for CHANGE leaders?

While one aspect of the commitment involves attending the seven-day training in July, CHANGE Leaders commit to work with Oxfam throughout the following academic year to carry out an Oxfam campaign on their campus by joining or forming an Oxfam Club. On average, students spend two to five hours per week on their campaigns.  Most CHANGE Leaders continue to work with Oxfam throughout their time at college and beyond.

Can international students/non-US citizens apply?

All rising sophomores and juniors attending a US-based college or university are welcome to apply.  Students do not need to be US citizens.

Why not freshmen, seniors, grad students?

Over the years, we've found that the CHANGE Initiative is best suited to students who already have established networks and who will be on their college or university campus for multiple years. Campaigns often take a semester or more to establish and gain momentum. Seniors often struggle to find time as graduation, the job search, and other factors come into play in the spring. However, we have selected a few rising seniors in the past, especially if they're going to be on campus for additional semesters. The CHANGE training is offered to undergraduate students only.

What if I'm going to be studying abroad next year?

Students who are going to be on campus the entire academic year will be given priority. Students who will be abroad an entire year are encouraged to apply the following year.

Can multiple students from the same campus apply?

Yes, multiple students can apply, though we only select one student each year from a campus.

What if I attend a large public or small liberal arts or private university? What if I attend a community college? 

Students from any US based college or university are welcome to apply. We usually have a mix of students from all types and sizes of colleges and universities throughout all regions of the US.

What is the week of CHANGE like?

The CHANGE training is an intense, weeklong training. Some days we start at 8 a.m. and don’t finish until 9-10 p.m. Full participation is expected from all students. Students learn about Oxfam America and our campaigns, get to know other student leaders from around the world, connect with students from their region, participate in team-building and leadership activities, learn organizing skills, and connect with Oxfam staff. The training encompasses a variety of activities that include interactive simulations, guest panels, presentations, videos, small group breakouts, personal reflections, and more.

What kind of things have CHANGE Leaders done on campus?

CHANGE Leaders have organized:

-    Oxfam America Clubs
-    Panels and debates
-    Film screenings
-    Legislative phone-calling and letter-writing campaigns
-    Tabling events
-    DC and in-district lobby days
-    Hunger and homelessness weeks
-    Social justice conferences
-    Oxfam America Hunger Banquets® and dining hall fasts 
-    Class presentations and Oxfam workshops
-    Photo petitions
-    Concert outreach
-    Flash mobs
-    Petition gatherings for legislative campaigns
-    Corporate campaign actions and stunts

Contact us

If you have any questions about CHANGE or the application process, please contact us.

•           Phone: 1 (800) 77-OXFAM ext. 9415
•           Email:

If you are a CHANGE Leader or alumni, visit the CHANGE Network.

Tools & downloads

  1. Tools for activists

    How to make a difference on campus

    Students, are you ready to take action? Find tips for starting and running an Oxfam Club at your high school or university, ideas for campus events, and much more.

  2. Tools for activists

    Resources for your Oxfam club

    Access free resources for Oxfam Club members, including a (1) sample club constitution, (2) member contact list template, (3) Oxfam logo guidelines, and (4) spotlight clubs from Virginia Tech and Ball State University.

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