Freeman Foundation SLU Asia Internship Program

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 Eastern and Southeast Asia. 

For almost 20 years, grant funding from the Freeman Foundation has played a critical role in enhancing St. Lawrence students’ interest Asian countries. This new Freeman Foundation-SLU Internship to Maximize Potential and Achievement in Asia (IMPAA) Program will significantly expand opportunities for St. Lawrence students to immerse themselves in living and working in Asia where they will be able to gain an authentic understanding of, and appreciation for, oriental culture and society. 

With the generous support from the Freeman Foundation, each year up to eight St. Lawrence University Students will be selected to do an 8-week internship in Asia.  The Freeman Foundation helps to pay for most of the cost, including roundtrip flight tickets, visa application, room, internship placement, and international health insurance. 


  • Preference is given to U.S. citizens

  • International students without a connection to East Asia can apply

  • Must be enrolled at St. Lawrence University as a degree-seeking undergraduate student in good academic standing; applicants cannot be in their last year of school. Students graduating in December 2024 are eligible to apply. Students planning to transfer to another institution are not eligible to apply.  

  • There are no Asian language proficiency requirements to receive the grant. 

  • Students who attend the SLU Asia Internship program must agree to fulfill post-participation service projects, which may include activities such as public presentations about their experience with the campus community, etc. 

  • The Freeman Foundation has the final say on selection standards and candidate selections.   

  • Applicants have limited exposure in Asia. 

Program Participation Requirements Include

  • Program Assessment Surveys: Program participants are required to fill out the internship evaluation form after returning from the internships.  The survey result will be shared with the CIIS office and the Freeman Foundation. This includes explanation about their internship experiences. 

  • Instagram Posts: Required to submit a photo and 100 words about their experience three times during the internship: beginning (first week), middle (fifth week) and end (eighth week). 

  • Program Presentation: Students present their Asia internship stories and experiences in events such as Family Weekend, International Education Week.  

  • Recipients will be asked to volunteer at the program events such as the Off-Campus Study Fair, Information Sessions, Class room visits and more to promote the Freeman Foundation SLU Asia Internship Program. 

  • Participants who terminate their internships before the program end date are required to refund the full amount of the grant. 


Pre-Decision Stage:  

  1. Schedule meetings or attend an information session with the Director of Off-Campus Programs, Caitlin Hatz.

  1. Complete the application for the Freeman Foundation SLU Asia Internship Program via Handshake.  

  2. Those who are finalists, will be asked to interview in early December. 

Post-Decision Stage:  

  1. Sign Student Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risks & Release and Indemnity Agreement for Asia Internship Participation, and complete all required materials on Studio Abroad.

  1. Attend Orientation hosted by NexStep 

  1. Prepare for departure 

For Partner-Supported Internship Placements  (Summer 2024)

Program Partner: NexStep. 

Program Location for Summer 2024: Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam; Kyoto, Japan 

Program Dates: May 24-July 20 (Two months, 8 weeks)

Apply through Handshake. Login in first and then click link: SLU Handshake.

We encourage students to join our information session to learn about the program for future participation.

The Freeman Foundation has the final say on selection standards and candidate selections.  

Internship Placement

There is a matching process that takes place with the applicants based on your interests, qualifications, etc.  Applicants will go through an interview process with NexStep and the potential placement organization.  NexStep can guarantee a placement will be made, but the applicants must be prepared to be placed in a company that may not be their first choice.  

Program Structure:  

After students are accepted to the program, each student will be matched with an internship position in either Japan, Vietnam, or Thailand via the NexStep, and NexStep will provide the following support to our students:  

· Sample Bangkok Housing incl. Wi-Fi, electric & water 

Thailand Internship Dorm 2
Thailand Internship Dorm 3

· Cultural & Professional Development activities per week or month 

· Airport Pickup 

· NEXSTEP Program Onboarding 

· Welcome Pack (Incl. Local Sim & US$100 Transportation Pass) 

· 24/7 In-Country Support 

· Health & Travel Insurance 

· Pre-departure Advising incl. Student Handbook, Immigration Visa Assistance 

· NEXSTEP Professional Development & Personal Branding Guide 

· First day Company Induction 

· Employer Skills Evaluation & Recommendation 

· Certificate of Completion 

Sample Bangkok Positions:

7 Raven Studios
Asia data destruction (ADD)
BioCreations Asia
Bumrungrad International Hospital
Corecell Technology
Decathlon (Thailand)
Demarest Clinic co., Ltd
Demetex Solution
STPI Co Ltd / Eridan
Fairplay Studios
G Round
Galaxy Kids
Genepeutic Bio Co., Ltd
Hypertrade Consulting Company Limited
In Game by Memore
Mahanakorn Partners
Medical Departures
MetaMap (Mati)
Moringa Project
Ring Zero Game Studio
Vishuo Biomedical
WYZ Auto
Bangkok Hospital
Happy Grocer
Igloo Studios
Lim and Partner
Mercy Center HDF
Mirror Foundation
Rapid Asia
Smart Legal Solutions
Midas PR

Sample Vietnam and Japan postings coming soon. 

*Actual placements may vary depending on student qualifications, availability, etc.

Additional Funding 

Each student will receive up to $2,500 (depends on participants' numbers) toward the cost of a round-trip flight, visa application and food during their internship. 

Students with unmet needs are eligible to apply for additional university funding such as Tanner Fellowship, academic departmental funding, and the Internship Fellowship by the Center for Career Excellence.  Funding is not guaranteed. 

Application Deadline 

Deadline: December 6th, 2023

Point of Contact

Interested students may direct questions to: Caitlin Hatz, Director of Off-Campus Programs.

*This internship program is not a semester-length program, so it would not count as a back-to-back program.  Students who are studying abroad prior to or after this internship program should be aware of the visa situation and leave enough time for visa processing. 

Earning Academic Credit 

Students participating in the NexStep internship placements have the opportunity to earn a quarter unit credit for their Asia Internship through the ND 230 internship course. Students pursuing internship placements outside of NexStep MUST do the ND 230 internship course. For details, please contact Geoffrey Falen (  

For Self-supported Internship Placements  

For students securing independent internships placements in East Asia (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong), students have the option to pursue their own internship placements outside the NexStep opportunities. Students are required to meet with Caitlin Hatz before they submit their application.  

If students find their own internship, they are still eligible to apply for the Freeman Foundation Grant but must fulfill the following requirements:  

  1. Awards are conditional until the employer provides a summer full time job description which outlines 40 hours of work per week for 8 weeks. 

  1. Students must enroll in Geoff Falen’s internship credit course. 

  1. St. Lawrence will request periodic progress reports from the employer to ensure students are completing 40 hours of work per week.   

  1. Participants are also required to meet the regular Program Participation Requirements. 

  2. Participants who fail the internships are required to refund the full amount of the grant. 

Freeman Foundation Asia Internship Program Cost & Budget Structure

Internship onsite cost (Fee already paid for)

  • Internship placement
  • Onsite housing
  • Onsite utility
  • International medical insurance
  • Safety and logistical support


Onsite cost/budget (Bangkok, Thailand only):  

1.      Average round trip flight cost from the U.S. - If book 3 months in advance, approximately $1300 - 1700 depending on the airport i.e., NC, DC, New York.  

2.      Visa application - 80 USD for single entry for Thailand. 

3.      Cost of weekday daily commute to work - approximately 2-4 US dollars per day on average depending on the distance of work from the housing. 40 days=$120. A $100 commute pass is offered by NexStep. 

4.      Meals a day (3) depend on if they use food apps and eat international cuisine - 3-5 per meal on average but can be as much as 10 USD (10-30 USD per day). Suggest budging $15 per meal, that is $15X40= $600.

5.      Cell phone plan - NexStep provides a sim with coverage of approximately 20 GB per month 5g/unlimited 258 mbps for two months. The phone plan is all dependent on usage but runs about 1-2 baht per minute for calls and 2-3 baht per message for local calls. Budget $60 for two months of a phone voice plan.

 Program participants receive a $2,250 (estimated) check to help cover some of the cost above. 

SLU students' Asia internship experiences: 

·         China Everbright Bank intern Charlie Taggart

·         Beijing Normal University intern Hanane Lahnaoui

·         Asset Management Association of China intern William Glover

·         Youwei library intern Huazhen Zhao

·         Chengdu Kanghua Development Center intern Xiaolan Wang