Frequently asked questions for CHANGE Leader applicants


What is CHANGE?

CHANGE is Oxfam America’s student leadership program for university students. The yearlong program starts with accepted applicants attending a week-long training. CHANGE Leaders commit to working with other students and campus contacts to host three to four Oxfam engagements, and to build a network of relationships on behalf of Oxfam, during the 2016-17 academic year. Thirty to forty students are selected each year from US based campuses.

The 2016 CHANGE training will take place July 23-28, in Boston, MA. All selected students must commit to attending the entire training. Oxfam will cover the cost of accepted leader’s ticket (flight, bus, or train) to and from Boston, as well as lodging and meals during the week of training in Boston.

CHANGE is entering its 17th year this summer. We have trained over 800 CHANGE Leaders from more than 340 college and university campuses across the US.

How do I apply?

Visit our CHANGE Application page to create an account and start the online student application. Each applicant will be asked to provide the name and contact information for a campus contact. A campus contact can be any faculty or staff member on the student’s campus, who is able to provide an online recommendation and support during the academic year. All CHANGE Leader applications and accompanying campus contact recommendations are due March 31, 2016.

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

How much does it cost to attend CHANGE?

It is free to apply. All accepted CHANGE Leaders will be asked to submit a one time, $100 registration fee. This fee helps cover organizing supplies and resources for the training and year on campus. The registration fee is non-refundable and only applies to students who have been accepted and will be participating in CHANGE. The fee will be due in May, after students have been notified about their acceptance into the program. Students are encouraged to search out university funding to help cover this cost, or to fundraise the $100. Oxfam will cover the cost of accepted CHANGE Leaders ticket (flight, bus, or train) to and from Boston, as well as lodging and meals during the week in Boston.

Why do I need a campus contact? What is the role of a campus contact?

A CHANGE campus contact can be any staff or faculty member at your university 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. Campus contacts serve as mentors and help make campus connections, provide feedback, and support for Oxfam events and activities on campus. Some contacts are very hands on, while others are less involved. Students and their contacts together determine how they will connect on campus.

When will I be notified about acceptance into CHANGE?

Students will be notified about acceptance into the program by May 1, 2016. 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 a campus contact to have been involved in CHANGE previously to be considered for the program. Students from new campuses are accepted every year.

What is the time committment for CHANGE Leaders?

While one aspect of the commitment involves attending the entire training in July, CHANGE Leaders commit to work with Oxfam throughout the following academic year to bring Oxfam’s mission to life on their campus. CHANGE Leaders create a campus engagement network, organize three to four Oxfam engagements on campus during the year, and work to identify three to five contacts who will partners with Oxfam on campus (this can include professors, alumni, administration, staff, students, departments, etc.) On average, students spend two to five hours/week on their Oxfam related work. Most CHANGE Leaders continue to work with Oxfam throughout their time at university and beyond.

Can international students/non-US citizens apply?

All students attending a US based college or university, are welcome to apply. Students do not need to be US citizens.

Why not first year students?

Over the years, we've found that the CHANGE Initiative is best suited to students who already have spent at least one year on campus. University students often need their first year to develop their relationships and build their networks.

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 for the entire academic year are encouraged to apply the following year.

Can multiple students from the same campus apply?

Yes, multiple students can apply.

I go to a large public/small liberal arts/community college/private university.

All students who are enrolled full-time in a US based college or university program are welcome to apply.

What is the week of CHANGE like?

The CHANGE Training is an intense, weeklong training. Training days vary in length, many go into the night; full participation is expected from all participants. Students learn about Oxfam’s work, get to know other student leaders from around the world, participate in team building and leadership activities, learn organizing skills, and connect with Oxfam staff. This is done through a variety of activities that include interactive simulations, guest panels, presentations, videos, small group breakouts, creative arts, personal reflections, and more.

What kind of things have CHANGE leaders done on campus?

CHANGE Leaders have organized:

  • Oxfam America Clubs
  • Panels, film screenings, and teach-ins
  • Tabling events and photo petitions
  • Social justice conferences
  • Oxfam America Hunger Banquets and Dining Hall Fasts
  • Class presentations and Oxfam workshops
  • Concert outreach
  • Social justice conferences
  • Oxfam America Hunger Banquets and Dining Hall Fasts
  • Class presentations and Oxfam workshops
  • Phone calls, letter writing and 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.

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 Indiana University Bloomington and University of Texas at Austin.

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