Furman University is pleased to announce the establishment of the International Internship Program in East and Southeast Asia. As part of The Furman Advantage, this program supports students who independently seek and obtain a full-time (eight week minimum) internship. To encourage students to participate, Furman has joined with the Freeman Foundation to provide up to $8,000 in funding for a limited number of students who complete their internships during the summer of 2019.
*International students may not seek internships in their country of origin.
Applications for the summer of 2019 are now closed. Information about next year’s application process will be posted in the fall. Please check back in the 2019-20 academic year.
A Massachusetts native, Mansfield Freeman graduated from Wesleyan University, served honorably in World War I, and studied at Edinburgh University before making the impetuous decision to join the staff at Tsinghua University in Beijing in 1919. He taught English, philosophy, and Greek. That same year, Cornelius Vander Starr founded American Asiatic Underwriters in Shanghai. In 1925, Freeman and Starr met after Freeman’s students won a summer contest in Beijing. Starr invited the talented professor to Shanghai to join his company. Over the next half century, Starr and Freeman worked together to expand their business ventures across the globe, ultimately co-founding American International Group (AIG), the largest American company begun abroad.
Upon his retirement from AIG in 1978, Mansfield Freeman established the trust that would become the Freeman Foundation after his death in 1992. The goal of the foundation, Freeman wrote, was “to strengthen the bonds of friendship between this country and those of the Far East; to develop a greater appreciation of Oriental 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 and thus lessen the danger of such frictions and disagreements as lead to war.”
Mansfield’s son Houghton “Buck” Freeman and his wife, Doreen, served as co-trustees of the Freeman Foundation from 1993 until Buck's death in 2010. The couple carried out Mansfield’s vision by donating hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a series of philanthropic endeavors designed to foster increased understanding between the United States and East Asia. This included scholarships for Asian and American students to study abroad, support for Asian studies professors and students at 84 colleges and universities in the United States, numerous endowed professorships, and tens of millions in disaster relief and forest preservation. It also created funding for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, a program designed to infuse Asian-related content into middle and high schools, which includes the South Carolina Center for Teaching about Asia at Furman. Since 2010, Graeme Freeman has carried on the family philanthropic tradition by overseeing the foundation and launching the newest Freeman initiative, supporting students in the United States to engage in full-time internships in East or Southeast Asia. We would like to profoundly thank Mr. Freeman and the other trustees of the foundation for financially supporting The Furman Advantage: The Freeman Foundation International Internship Program in East and Southeast Asia.
Allison Powell, from Winter Park, Florida, is a spring 2017 graduate with a double major in Spanish and Chinese Studies and minor in Middle Eastern Studies who interned at the Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association in Bangkok. The experience was an opportunity, as Allie explains it, to “engage diverse communities of people and think about how I could incorporate that passion in the business world.” After her internship was completed, Powell entered the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University
Jade Pearce, from Memphis, Tennessee, is a sophomore double major in History and Political Science who did her summer internship at Ericsson Telecommunications in Singapore. Ericsson is a multinational information and communications technology company based in Stockholm with offices around the world. She worked in the Human Resources Department to compile and evaluate Ericsson talent acquisition and employee onboarding processes. The internship was essential, Pearce said, in helping her envision how to make “new business contacts” and how they “could help my career in the future."
Jason Hirsch, from Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a spring 2017 graduate with a degree in Health Sciences who traveled to the village of Gundu in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, to work at one of the health posts of the Nepal Reliance Organization, which provides low-cost healthcare to local residents. Living with a host family was, Jason confessed, “the most influential factor” in his positive internship experience.
“I arrived in Nepal without a clue as to what life would be like and departed knowing I will always have a home on the other side of the world,”
When not working at the National Development Agency, senior Owen Murphy found time to ride horses on the famous Mongolian steppe outside the capital of Ulaanbaatar. Murphy, a double major in History and Urban Studies from Kensington, Maryland, focused his internship on urban planning and local economic growth by contributing to the evolving Sustainable Development Vision, which included meeting with local officials, teleconferencing with stakeholders in Singapore, and researching successful sustainable development models from Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Latvia. Murphy was proud of his accomplishments in the office but described living in Mongolia as “priceless.”
"The real internship for me was living in Ulaanbaatar and interacting with my Mongolian coworkers.”
Sunyeop Lee, a senior Health Science and Spanish double major, spent his summer interning at EnerGaia in Thailand. EnerGaia is a social enterprise that specializes in producing spirulina while prioritizing environmental and human sustainability. During his internship, Sun worked on EnerGaia's Kenya project, which is designed to help communities in northern Kenya solve problems of poverty and malnutrition by teaching local farmers how to utilize an innovative closed bioreactor system for spirulina production.
For a full list of 2017 participants, click here.
Idealist focuses on nonprofit and community-building work. Lists programs as well as individual internship/volunteer opportunities. Search by location.
LinkedIn Student finds individual internships and job listings. Search by internship and location.
Singapore Economic Development Board shows internships and a list of organizations.
Singapore American Chamber of Commerce shows internships and list of organizations.
iHipo finds individual internships and job listings. Search by location.
Intern Abroad displays a wide variety of internship programs. Search by country and/or internship discipline.
Institute of International Education is an independent nonprofit that manages more than 250 programs.
International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an association of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work and internships. Programs charge fees.
StudyAbroad mostly lists internship and volunteer programs. Search by location.
Transitions Abroad finds internship listings here and volunteer opportunities here. Also has useful articles on international internships.
International Internship Programs
Absolute Internships matches talented university students and graduates with international work experiences in elite cities around the world.
Asia Internship Program places participants in leading organizations all over the world, across all industry sectors. In each program destination our team has extensive networks in business, NGOs, and government.
Child Family Health International is a leading non-governmental organization that places health science students in positionsthat are socially responsible and financially just.
GlobalEdge is a reference guide for students, faculty, staff, and administrators to help match students with international internship opportunities offered by two- and four-year colleges and universities, governmental agencies, non-profit groups, private organizations, and corporations.
Global Experiences places students in unpaid international internships based on their preferences. Program costs.
Global Service Corp. offers volunteer service internships in several countries. Popular subject areas include health, agriculture, and education.
Go Abroad directories contain more than 11,000 opportunities updated daily, including study abroad, internships, volunteer opportunities, teach abroad, language schools and more.
International Cooperative Education has placed more than 15,000 students in work and internship positions throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.
ISA Studies Abroad and IES Abroad offer internships in multiple countries. Program costs.
Projects Abroad fosters community development in foreign countries. Program costs.
Service Civil International is a nonprofit public charity with an official partner relationship with UNESCO. Provides summer work camps and volunteer opportunities worldwide. Work camps cost $235, due upon application. You will be placed for the second choice if first choice is not available.
World Endeavors has a variety of internship and volunteer opportunities in many different countries. Program costs.
International Volunteer and Job Opportunities
International Volunteer Programs Association is an alliance of nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations that are involved in international volunteer and internship exchanges.
Transitions Abroad is a guide to short-term work and volunteer opportunities abroad.
Volunteer for Peace provides information on international work camps as short-term options for working and traveling abroad.
Going Global searches for international jobs.
Diane Iseminger, Internship Program Associate Director
Dr. Lane J. Harris