Fall 2018 UPDATE: Plans are being made for the 2018-2019 schedule.
Please email bstarnes@olemiss.edu if you have any questions before set dates are available.

UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia

Eastern Asia Summer Internship Program

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.

The Mission of the Freeman Foundation and the Purpose of the Grants

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.

Eligible Countries

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.


Recipient Qualifications
  • Freeman grantees must be full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students at the University of Mississippi in good academic standing in fall 2018, spring 2019, and fall 2019.
  • Students need not be citizens of the United States, but they may not use the grant to intern in their home country.
  • There are no foreign language proficiency requirements to receive a grant, but proficiency in a relevant foreign language may strengthen an application.
Point of Contact

Interested students may direct questions to:

Ms. Bree Starnes
Croft 318
(662) 915-1500
Information Sessions

For more information, and to speak to a committee member, please attend one of the following information sessions:

Fall of 2018 TBD

The Internships

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.

Organizations UM Students Have Interned with in Eastern Asia
Global Youth ConnectNonprofit Children and Youth
International Fund for China's Environment Nonprofit Environment
Shanghai World ExpoInternational Trade and Development
Enovate ChinaManagement Consulting
Millennium Challenge CorporationInternational Trade and Development
Mars CompanyFood Production
FedEx CorporationPackage/Freight Delivery
ABBElectrical/Electronic Manufacturing
Kantar Media CICMarket Research
PwC USAccounting
AptarGroup, Inc.Packaging and Containers
Sifang Art MuseumNonprofit Art
LabbrandConsulting Firm

Internship Search Engines:

focuses on nonprofit and community-building work. Lists programs as well as individual internship and volunteer opportunities. Search by location.
Singapore Economic Development Board 
shows internships and a list of organizations.
Singapore American Chamber of Commerce 
shows internships and a list of organizations.
finds individual internships and job listings. Search by location.
Intern Abroad
displays a variety of internship programs. Search by country or internship discipline.
Institute of International Education
is an independent nonprofit that manages more than 250 programs.
Transitions Abroad 
finds internships and volunteer opportunities. Also has useful articles on international internships.

Internship Providers:

programs available for all of Asia, most popular provider in China.
World Endeavors
provides intern locations all over the world, and host family accommodations.
Asia Internship Programs
rovides intern placement to over 8 East Asian regions.
Absolute Internship
offers a variety of internships, from fashion to legal.

Application Process
Required Materials

The application for UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia consists of the following components:

  1. Application essays
    Address the following four questions, each in a separate paragraph.
    • What is the internship you have secured or are working to secure? Discuss: daily obligations, details on the employer, and projects you will accomplish.
    • How does this internship relate to your field of study and professional aspirations?
    • How will you interact with the culture of the country and region?
    • Is there anything else that makes you an ideal candidate for the Freeman Grant or that you would like to share with the application committee?
  2. Documentation of internshipuse the certification form (download to the right) OR document your progress in securing an internship. For example, a contract, preliminary agreement, email correspondence, etc.
    • Official communication from the internship organization or provider to confirm the offer of an internship.
  3. Professional or academic recommendationuse the recommendation form (download to the right).
  4. Budget
  5. One-page resume
  6. Unofficial university transcript

Applications will not be assessed until all components are submitted. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be judged based on:

  • Strength of essay and recommendation.
  • Relevance of proposed internship to field of study and career plans
  • Academic record
  • Demonstrated interest in Eastern Asia

Each grantee will be awarded $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.

Application Submission Directions

Students are strongly encouraged to contact Ms. Bree Starnes (bstarnes@olemiss.edu) to express their desire to apply and discuss the process.

Submit all completed materials in .pdf format via email to bstarnes@olemiss.edu. You may submit the items as they are ready.

Please name the documents according to the following format:

  • FreemanApplicationFirstNameLastName

  • FreemanCertificationFirstNameLastName

  • FreemanRecommendationFirstNameLastName

  • FreemanBudgetFirstNameLastName

  • FreemanResumeFirstNameLastName

  • FreemanTranscriptFirstNameLastName


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.

October 2018: Application opens

TBD: Application deadline

TBD: Grantees notified of status

After the Internship
Recipient Responsibilities

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.


Student Internship Experiences

Bumpas Will.jpg

From William Bumpas '14:

"I interned at Kantar Media CIC, a social media consulting firm, in Beijing from February to June 2015. Afterwards, I ended up coming on as a full time employee at the company's larger Shanghai office, where I worked until the following year. This was a really important transitional period for me, as I was looking to get into the world of digital media after previously not having any real background in that area.

It was a very challenging experience, not only because of the completely Chinese-speaking office setting—putting to test the language skills I'd acquired over the previous four years as a Chinese major—but also because I was expected in many ways to perform the same tasks as a local hire. I had to learn very quickly in order to keep up. Among other things, my Excel skills shot through the roof, because it was so much a part of the daily workflow, and I also got used to working in a fast-paced environment, with constant emails and phone calls with clients and other colleagues to coordinate our ongoing projects.

More important for me personally, I think, was simply the fact that this was all happening in a major city on the other side of the world. I got a really unique view into the China market, working with the local branches of big international companies like Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Dell to help them understand their brand image perception among Chinese consumers. This audience-focused perspective is something that I still carry with me today, and has been really important to me both personally and as I begin the next stage of my career."

Frequently Asked Questions

>>Is this a study abroad program?

>>Where does the money come from?

>>Why Eastern Asia?

>>How long must I intern?

>>Which students are eligible?

>>I’m not a citizen of the United States. Am I eligible for a grant?

>>What if I don’t speak an Asian language?

>>My major is not related to Asia. May I still receive a grant?

>>Must I go to China, Japan, or South Korea?

Summer 2018 Recipients

>>Sarah Berry

>>Meredith Brown

>>Sydney Bush

>>Tyler Caple

>>Lucy De la Cruz

>>Stewart Eaton

>>Scott Givhan

>>Daria Herasymova

>>Jordan Holman

>>Mo Karzon

>>Sarah Liese

>>Tina Ng

>>Jasmine Nguyen

>>Navodit Paudel

>>David Pfaehler

>>Emily Rodriguez

>>Emma Scott