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Renewed Grant Funds Scholarships for Internships in East and Southeast Asia

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

LAWRENCE — More scholarships will be available for University of Kansas students accepting internships in East and Southeast Asia through a two-year, $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation.

This award is the third consecutive two-year grant that KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) has received through the Freeman Foundation. The $200,000-a-year funding provides scholarships for KU students to participate in accredited internship programs throughout the East Asian region.

“International internships enable students to gain a deeper understanding of the different cultures, economies, systems and values of peoples, and to apply that perspective to the context of the professional work environment,” said Angela Perryman, director of SAGE. “These experiences are critical to the mission of KU and to our efforts in graduating globally prepared students.” 

Funding through the Freeman Foundation directly supports SAGE’s commitment to increase study abroad participation at KU to 30 percent of all undergraduate students and to ensure access to international education opportunities for all who want to participate. It also furthers the mission of the Freeman Foundation, which works to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of East Asia through student engagement in the region.

Study Abroad received its first grant from the Freeman Foundation in 2014. Since then, it has awarded more than 200 scholarships to KU students with internships in China, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, including 56 student recipients this summer and fall. Recipients come from diverse academic disciplines and nearly all of KU’s schools. The majority of students who have received Freeman Foundation Scholarships for East Asia Internships have never previously traveled to Asia, and more than 20 precent of recipients have not traveled outside of the United States prior to receiving the award.

With the renewed source of funding, Study Abroad plans to award 60 additional scholarships each year in both 2020 and 2021.

This summer with the support of a Freeman Foundation Scholarship, biology major Cierra Kahrs had the opportunity to intern at St. Luke’s Hospital in Singapore, where she was able to become part of the culture and not just observe it from the outside.

“By working alongside individuals that have lived in Singapore their whole lives, I was able to hear their perspectives on many global topics. Through this I gained the ability to better communicate with people of different backgrounds,” Kahrs said. “Additionally, as an individual interested in the clinical side of medicine, I was able to gain new perspectives on health care. My internship helped to confirm my decision to pursue the clinical side of medicine as a career.”

Scholarship Information

Freeman Foundation Scholarships range from $2,500 to $5,000 and are given to undergraduate and graduate KU students participating in credit-bearing internships that are six weeks or longer in East or Southeast Asia.

All degree-seeking graduate or undergraduate students who are in good academic standing and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident are eligible. Students must apply to or be accepted to a credit-bearing internship or program in East or Southeast Asia for six weeks or more. Internships should be for a minimum of 30 hours per week during the summer or 10 hours per week during the semester.

Qualifying countries include Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.  

Application deadlines are Oct. 1 for spring programs and Feb. 15 for summer and fall programs.

Students can learn more about the Freeman Foundation Scholarship here.

About the Freeman Foundation

The Freeman Foundation's major objectives include strengthening the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of East Asia. Through education and educational institutes, the foundation hopes to develop within the United States a greater appreciation of Asian cultures, histories and economies and a better understanding of the American people and of American institutions and purposes by the peoples of East Asia.

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