Students chat while at an outdoor event.

Freeman Scholars

Freeman Scholars fosters deeper understanding between the United States and Asia through funding immersive educational experiences.


Freeman Scholars is a prestigious award that provides generous funding to undergraduate and graduate students completing internships in East and Southeast Asia. The primary objective of the award is to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the United States and East Asia through funding immersive experiences for students to gain a deeper understanding of the different cultures, economies, systems and values prevalent in the region.

History of Impact

Since 2012, more than 280 UT students have been named Freeman Scholars. These students developed cultural competencies and professional skills all while contributing to a workplace abroad, interning in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mongolia and Indonesia. Upon their return, each student completed a project to share their experience in Asia with their UT community.

Impact on Scholars

Freeman Scholars share the personal impact of this scholarship and their experience in Asia.

Smiling White European girl outside in South Korea
I learned so much about myself on this journey, and it would not have been possible without this program. Hailey Hellesvig, interned in Korea, Summer 2017

How to Apply

This is a competitive award. Students may apply for this award in conjunction with an internship program coordinated by UT Education Abroad or to fund a self-sourced internship. Students may only be awarded once.


In order to apply, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin as a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing during the entire application process and internship
  • Participating on an in-person internship of at least six weeks
  • Interning in one of the following Asian countries: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, or Vietnam.


All applicants must apply through the Global Assist.

You do not need to have your internship (host company) confirmed before applying, but you will need to submit confirmation of your internship before your stipend is disbursed.  For more information, see the Freeman FAQ.

Self-Sourced Internship Applicants

Please note: If you are selected, your internship will be considered university-related travel. You will need to register your travel and purchase UT Overseas Insurance.


The following deadlines are priority deadlines, meaning that applications are still accepted after these dates, but awards are contingent on remaining funds.

Spring Internships October 15
Summer Internships February 15
Fall Internships April 15

Freeman Projects

Upon their return to campus, each Freeman Scholar designs a project to share their experience in Asia with their UT community.

Selected Projects

Through these projects, Freeman Scholars reflect upon their experience in Asia and share what they learned with classmates who may never have been to Asia. These self-designed projects can take many forms, but some past examples include:

  • Reflective blog or vlog post
  • Videos of their experience in Asia
  • Presentations to classes or student organizations
  • Cooking class of local cuisine
  • Art installation
  • Talking with students at outreach events
Smiling study abroad girl with sunglasses standing on balcony with trees in background
I spoke specifically about my internship and the cross-cultural communication skills I learned through exposure in an international hospital. Adiba Oiyshi Bangkok, Thailand, Summer 2018 , Watch Adiba's video on her internship in Thailand