UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia is supported by a grant from the Freeman Foundation, of Honolulu, Hawaii, by the University of Mississippi Office of Global Engagement, and by the applicants’ respective schools to intern in an Eastern Asian country during summer 2019. Grantees will receive $7,500 to advance their career goals and gain professional experience by interning full-time for at least eight weeks.
Established in 1994 by the estate of AIG cofounder Mansfield Freeman, the mission of the Freeman Foundation is "to strengthen the bonds of friendship between this country and those of the Far East; to develop a greater appreciation of [East Asian] cultures in this country and a better understanding of American institutions in and purposes on the part of the peoples of East Asia, and to stimulate an exchange of ideas in economic and cultural fields which will help create mutual understanding” between the United States and Eastern Asia. Freeman grantees will advance this mission by gaining real-world work experience in the Eastern Asian country of their choice. In this way, applicants will bring Mississippi and the United States to their host countries and bring their host countries back to Mississippi and the United States upon their return.
Interested students may direct questions to:
Information Sessions will begin again in the fall of 2019. If you have questions, please reach out to Bree Starnes.
The program focuses on sending students to countries that are at the heart of the University of Mississippi's and the Croft Institute's long-standing engagement with Eastern Asia: China, Japan, and South Korea.
Internships in other parts of Eastern Asia can also be supported, and students are encouraged to explore all possibilities within the broader region.
UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia funds internships, not study abroad programs. Grantees must intern full-time, at least 20 hours per week, for a minimum of eight weeks. Grantees are not permitted to take classes during the workday, such as language or cultural immersion classes, although they may take classes in their free time. The internship must provide a meaningful work experience and should contribute to the professional and personal growth of the intern. Ideally, that means that a significant portion of the internship will be devoted to a long-term project over the eight weeks.
The internships may be paid or unpaid—Grantees will receive the full $7,500 amount regardless. Grantees may secure their internship by tapping the Ole Miss alumni base and their personal networks, or may elect to use an internship provider.
|Global Youth Connect||Nonprofit Children and Youth|
|International Fund for China's Environment||Nonprofit Environment|
|Shanghai World Expo||International Trade and Development|
|Enovate China||Management Consulting|
|Millennium Challenge Corporation||International Trade and Development|
|Mars Company||Food Production|
|FedEx Corporation||Package/Freight Delivery|
|Kantar Media CIC||Market Research|
|AptarGroup, Inc.||Packaging and Containers|
|Sifang Art Museum||Nonprofit Art|
programs available for all of Asia, most popular provider in China.
provides intern locations all over the world, and host family accommodations.
Asia Internship Programs
provides intern placement to over 8 East Asian regions.
offers a variety of internships, from fashion to legal.
The application for UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia consists of the following components:
Applications will not be assessed until all components are submitted. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed.
Applications will be judged based on:
Each grantee will be awarded up to $7,500. The application committee will accept applications that exceed the $7,500 grant limit, and grant recipients will be responsible for the additional cost. The application committee will not assess financial need. Proposals with budgets below or above $7,500 are not more or less likely to succeed, so long as they are well-researched and feasible.
Students are strongly encouraged to contact Ms. Bree Starnes (email@example.com) to express their desire to apply and discuss the process.
Submit all completed materials in .pdf format via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may submit the items as they are ready.
Please name the documents according to the following format:
The application committee wants to reward students who take the initiative to secure an internship provider early on. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis.
Application Open: October 2019
*First time applicants are given preference over returning recipients.
Applicants are encouraged to use the #umabroadwithfreeman on all social media platforms.
These photos will be used to advertise for the UM Freeman Grant as well as posted on the Croft Institute for International's platforms.
If you do not want your photos shared, please let Bree Starnes know before going abroad.
Applicants must agree to give back to the University during the semester after their return.
In fall 2019, each Freeman grantee will be required to submit a two-page reflection that details their professional and personal growth while interning abroad. Grantees must also submit photos and complete a survey about their experience. Grantees will be required to attend an information session about the University of Mississippi Eastern Asian Internship Program in which they speak about their experience and answer questions. Finally, grantees will be expected to write a thank-you letter to the Freeman Foundation.
"I was able to intern in Shanghai, China at an organization called Women in Leadership League (WILL) thanks to funding provided by the Freeman Foundation. My internship experience was overall enriching in that I was able to use my Chinese language skills in a professional setting and establish connections with Chinese professionals in a field I am interested in.
Some of the most immersive cultural experiences came from opportunities at my internship. I often ate traditional Chinese cuisine with my supervisor and we attended events hosted by affiliated organizations. One such event was a talk given by an older Chinese woman who shared her experience of growing up during the Cultural Revolution. These activities provided perspectives into Chinese culture that I have not encountered before. At the same time, I was able to build upon previous experiences in China, like visiting my Chinese language partner from freshman year and having dinner with her family on multiple occasions.
I cherished the moments I did speak Chinese at my internship and sought out ways to use Chinese everyday by meeting with Chinese friends, attending events all in Chinese, and never admitting I spoke English while interacting with locals. At the same time, interning instead of taking language classes released some of the pressure from language learning, and I enjoyed this past summer in China more than my two previous summers in China. I gained professional skills that I can talk about in job interviews and now have a new understanding of China and Chinese culture. At the same time this summer reinvigorated my desire to work and live in China for a portion of my life. I firmly believe my internship in China to be a vital experience of my undergraduate career. "
"I was accepted as a chemical engineering intern with a company by the name of EnerGaia. EnerGaia is a biotech startup that focuses on producing a special type of algae, spirulina, as a sustainable food source. Spirulina is a blue-green algae, also known as a cyanobacteria, that only naturally grows in a couple of places on Earth due to it requiring water with a very high alkalinity around a pH of 10 along with very high temperatures and large exposure to sunlight. Being one of the oldest single cellular bacteria on the planet, spirulina is hailed as a miracle food for many reasons.
I had no idea what to expect upon arrival, but thankfully my boss walked me around the facility and explained what happens in each stage of the process. After discussing the basics, my boss mentioned some of the problems they were encountering and was eager to hear my perspective for potential solutions. I was really surprised at the level they took me in and respected my opinions from the start. My first week of work consisted of me learning the ropes of the business by collecting samples from each of the systems of bioreactors and running lab tests to measure things like the optical density, salinity, nutrient levels, and degree of contamination.
Overall I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. Interning in Asia has been one of the best experiences of my life and I will certainly return one day. I deeply value all of the friendships and memories I made along the journey. I also learned a great deal about Asian culture, food, business, and algae production of course. Going out of your comfort zone and integrating yourself into a completely unfamiliar environment really helps open your mind to some of the many things are possible in life."
No! UM Experiential learning in Eastern Asia does not fund study abroad programs, and you may not use a grant to pay for academic programs.
The grants are primarily funded by the Freeman Foundation of Honolulu, HI. The grants are also funded by the Office of Global Engagement and the respective schools of the grantees.
The founder of the Freeman Foundation, Mansfield Freeman, was a professor of Chinese philosophy and resided in China for portions of his life. The company that was the precursor to AIG was cofounded by him in Shanghai. The mission statement of the Freeman Foundation is “to strengthen the bonds of friendship between this country and those of the Far East”.
The internship must last a minimum of eight weeks for at least twenty hours per week. Internships of a longer duration are encouraged. Students may not intern for longer hours over a shorter period of weeks (for example, four weeks at forty hours per week).
Freeman grantees must be full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students at the University of Mississippi in good academic standing in fall 2017, spring 2018, and fall 2018. This means that students who will graduate in spring 2018 are not eligible to receive grants, nor are students who will be enrolled at the University as graduate students.
Yes. International students may receive a grant, so long as they do not use it to intern in their country of origin.
There are no language requirements to receive a grant. There are various ways students who only speak English can be successful interns in Eastern Asia. Some countries have significant English speaking populations, and some organizations seek fluent English speakers. Research your options. You should consider how comfortable you are living in a foreign country and not speaking the dominant language before applying for a grant.
Yes! We are deliberately seeking students from a diversity of fields of study to award grants. The key is to make a strong case for why you should intern in Eastern Asia.
No. We are committed to awarding some grants to fund internships there, due to the university's long-standing ties to those countries. However, applications to intern in the broader Eastern Asian region will also be accepted.