Freeman Foundation Scholarship For East Asia Internships

The Freeman Foundation Scholarship for East Asia Internships provides awards ranging from $2,500 - $5,000 to undergraduate and graduate KU students participating in credit-bearing internships of six weeks duration or longer in East or Southeast Asia.  Provided through the generous support of the Freeman Foundation, the scholarship program aims to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the United States and the countries of East Asia by supporting U.S. students in gaining a deeper understanding of the different cultures, economies, systems and values prevalent in the region.

During the past seven years, Study Abroad & Global Engagement has awarded more than 225 scholarships to KU students interning abroad in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.  Study Abroad plans to award approximately 30 additional scholarships in the upcoming academic year.  All eligible students are strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligible Internship Programs in East or Southeast Asia

Students may participate in any credit-bearing internship program with a minimum duration of 6 weeks offered in one of the following Asian countries: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam.  Qualifying internships should be for a minimum of 30 hours per week during the summer or 10 hours per week during the semester, to reach a total of 180 contact hours across the internship experience.

The following KU internship programs are administered directly by Study Abroad & Global Engagement or in collaboration with an approved educational services provider in the region:

  • Architecture Internships in Asia (MArch students, 5th Year)
  • CIEE Summer Global Internships in Shanghai, Singapore, & Tokyo (all majors)
  • ISA Seoul Summer Internships (all majors)
  • Teaching English in South Korea (Education, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Linguistics majors with an interest in the teaching profession)     
  • Individualized Placements: Students may work with their KU academic department or a specific faculty member to identify an internship opportunity abroad and the associated KU credit to be earned for this experience.

In addition to these programs offered directly by KU, students may apply for a Freeman Foundation East Asia Internship Scholarship to intern abroad through a non-affiliated organization or internship sponsor.  Students interested in pursuing this option should discuss their plans with Kaitlyn Johnson, Study Abroad & Global Engagement Internship Coordinator, prior to initiating an application to the host company/organization.


To be eligible for the scholarship award, an applicant must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  2. Be enrolled at KU as a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student in good academic standing;
  3. Have applied to or been accepted to a credit-bearing internship program in East or Southeast Asia of 6 weeks duration or longer.

Award recipients will be selected based on the strength and quality of their application materials (statement of purpose and follow-on project proposal).  Preference will be given to students engaging in internship abroad programs of 8 weeks duration or longer, and to students with limited or no travel experience in East or Southeast Asia.  Students who have previously received a Freeman Foundation Scholarship for East Asia Internships are not eligible to apply for a second award.

Follow-on Service Requirements

Upon return from their overseas internship, all recipients of the Freeman Foundation Scholarship for East Asia Internships are required to complete a student impact survey, an outreach service project, and one volunteer engagement coordinated by Study Abroad & Global Engagement. 

The student impact survey will be distributed at the start of the term following completion of the student’s international internship.  The impact survey provides an opportunity for recipients to provide feedback on their internship abroad experiences and share information with Study Abroad & Global Engagement needed for our annual report to the Freeman Foundation. 

The outreach service requirement is an opportunity for each scholarship recipient to share his/her overseas internship experiences with the broader KU community and to promote interest in internships in East and Southeast Asia.  Students will develop their project ideas as part of their scholarship application submitted to Study Abroad & Global Engagement.  In designing their outreach projects, students should consider their skills and interests in addition to the publicity needs of the KU campus and/or community. 

Lastly, throughout the Fall and Spring semester, Study Abroad & Global Engagement staff will be coordinating events such as fairs, panel presentations, information tables, and orientations to promote international internships and the Freeman Foundation Scholarships.  All recipients are asked to volunteer at one event (approximately 1-2 hours).

All follow-on service requirements must be completed by December 1 for Spring and Summer award recipients and May 1 for Fall recipients.

To Apply

  • Identify and apply for an internship abroad program in East or Southeast Asia that qualifies for a Freeman Foundation Scholarship through KU.  Questions?  Schedule a meeting with the Study Abroad & Global Engagement Internship Coordinator, Kaitlyn Johnson.
  • Complete the on-line Freeman Foundation Scholarship for East Asia Internships.
  • A complete application consists of a Statement of Purpose, Outreach Service project proposal, and a copy of a student's unofficial transcripts or advising report.

Application deadlines

  • February 1 - deadline for summer and fall programs
  • October 1 – deadline for all spring programs