NEW YORK, NY, December 6, 2010—The Institute of International Education (IIE) has announced the re-launch of the Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) with a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, a private foundation with offices in New York, NY, Stowe, VT, and Honolulu, HI. Applications can be submitted online starting in January 2011 for study abroad beginning in Summer 2011. Freeman-ASIA scholarships will be available for study abroad anytime through the 2012-13 academic year, with application deadlines listed on the program website.
Freeman-ASIA provides financial support to American undergraduates to study abroad for academic credit back home during the summer, semester or full academic year in one of 15 countries/regions in East and Southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of Americans with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures, and expand interest in Asian studies on U.S. campuses.
From 2001-2009, Freeman-ASIA support enabled over 4,000 American undergraduates from 600+ institutions across every state in the U.S. to study abroad in Asia. Upon returning home, these Freeman-ASIA alumni shared their experiences with over 100,000 additional U.S. students through outreach activities on campus and in their home communities, encouraging their peers to consider study abroad in Asia. According to IIE’s annual Open Doors report, the proportion of students who selected East and Southeast Asia as their study abroad destination during this time period doubled from 5% to 11% of the total U.S. study abroad population. In 2009/10, U.S. campuses reported that nearly 27,000 U.S. students received credit for study in East and Southeast Asia during the prior academic year (2008/09), out of a total of approximately 260,000 students who studied abroad during that academic year.
Dr. Allan E. Goodman, IIE’s President and CEO, noted that American students will increasingly need the cross-cultural skills that Freeman-ASIA supports, and he called for every U.S. campus to double their numbers of students going abroad, especially to Asia. "Without a substantial increase in U.S. students abroad, America’s next generation of graduates will be operating at a disadvantage in every professional sphere."
Freeman-ASIA provides scholarships to undergraduate students to help fund study programs in East and Southeast Asia for which they will receive academic credit. Award amounts range from $3,000 for a summer program to $5,000 for a semester/quarter program to $7,000 for an academic year program. Students must demonstrate financial need in order to be eligible for the program. Priority will be given to students with limited or no previous experience in Asia. As a condition of the award, upon their return to the U.S., students must promote study in Asia by sharing their experiences with peers on their home campuses and in their communities.
The online application for Summer 2011 will be available in January 2011, with a submission deadline of February 15, 2011. Applications must be endorsed by the student’s study abroad advisor (certifying that the program will receive academic credit on the home campus) and by the financial aid adviser (certifying financial need).
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 a greater appreciation of Asian cultures, histories, and economies in the United States and a better understanding of the American people and of American institutions and purposes by the peoples of East Asia.
IIE notes with sadness the passing of Houghton Freeman, Chairman of the Freeman Foundation, on December 1, 2010. His vision and generosity, and that of all the Trustees of the Foundation, have transformed the lives of tens of thousands of students and teachers in the United States and Asia through programs supported by the Freeman Foundation.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.