Check out the ideas from MySQL for Google Summer of Code 2009!
These are specially-selected projects for students who are looking to do some coding in a real, open-source, highly-adopted software environment.
The learning experience will be tremendous given that MySQL engineers will be mentoring them.
Some student stipend is provided by the Google Summer of Code. It is intended for students to gain "exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits."