Butler University has been awarded a $339,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation to support undergraduate student internships in East and Southeast Asia in 2016 and 2017.
The money will be used to send 20 students to Shanghai in 2016 and 20 to Shanghai, 10 to Beijing, and 10 to Singapore during summer 2017. The grant provides $5,000 per student to offset the cost of their travel and housing costs.
In addition, the grant provides financial support for students who are already in East Asia on a semester study-abroad program and can fit in an internship into that time.
The summer internships are six weeks long. A Butler faculty member will be on hand at the beginning of the semester to get the students settled.
“This grant is great news for our students,” said Jill McKinney, Butler’s Director of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Education. “There are many logistics that go into an exciting program like this. It hits much of what the Butler 2020 plan wants for students, which is high-impact programs. This is an innovative blend of two kinds of high-impact programs: study abroad and internships. As we strive to send off students to have a meaningful impact on the world, I think graduates who have broader worldview and have had internship in one of the leading economies in the world could have a distinct advantage personally and in the job market.”
McKinney said Butler is one of only 23 universities in the United States to earn this kind of support from the Freeman Foundation. During the summer of 2015, Butler sent 19 students to intern in Shanghai and Hong Kong, thanks to a $99,500 Freeman Foundation grant.
The Freeman Foundation, based in Stowe, Vermont, is dedicated to augmenting international understanding between the United States and the nations of East Asia. The foundation “provides real work experiences in real work settings with direct interaction with local people in East and Southeast Asia.”
Grace Lewis, a senior majoring in Pharmacy and minoring in Chinese, said her internship at the pharmaceutical company Eisai China Inc. taught her about the pharmaceutical industry and drug marketing, and also gave her insight into healthcare in China.
“At the conclusion of my internship, I realized that the industry is a viable option for my future career,” she said. “Living and working in China greatly contributed to my personal growth. Particularly, my sense of independence grew much more than I had anticipated.”