Freeman Scholars FAQs

Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions and answers. Can’t find an answer to your specific question? Send an email to

About and Eligibility

What is the Freeman Foundation?

The Freeman Foundation was created by Mansfield Freeman who taught at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He later went on to found AIG. The Freeman Foundation’s mission is to develop greater appreciation and mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and East and Southeast Asia through an exchange of economic and cultural ideas.

What is the Freeman Stipend for Internships in Asia?

The Freeman Stipend for Internships in Asia (or “the Freeman Stipend”) is awarded to students who are completing an internship in East or Southeast Asia. It is your responsibility – through this internship – to foster mutual understanding between the United States and your host country, and to bring this experience back to your home community. The stipend (sometimes also called a scholarship) is meant to help offset some of the expense of your internship.

What countries in East and Southeast Asia qualify for Freeman Stipends?

Eligible countries are limited to:

  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • The Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
Who is eligible for the Freeman Stipend?

Students must be U.S. Citizens or legal Permanent Residents. Both undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students may apply. Students need to be in good academic and disciplinary standing throughout the entire application and internship process.

I was awarded a Freeman Stipend for my internship last summer. Can I apply again?

No, students may only apply for a Freeman stipend once.

Spring will be my last semester on campus before I graduate. Can I apply to be a Freeman Scholar over the summer?

Yes, you are still eligible to apply. Keep in mind that all Freeman Scholars are required to complete a Freeman Project the semester after the internship. Please consider where you will be in the fall and how you will complete this project.

My internship is paid. Can I apply?

Yes, you are eligible to apply if your internship is paid. You will be asked to draw up a budget of your expenses. Please list your anticipated salary/stipend on this budget.

Is the Freeman Stipend open to students doing internships during the semester?

Yes, absolutely. Our semester priority deadlines are October 15 (for spring internships), February 15 (for summer internships) and April 15 (for fall internships).

Are there requirements for my internship length?

Yes. Internships must be at least six weeks long. Internships shorter than six weeks are ineligible, even if they are attached to study abroad programs that are longer.

Is there a minimum total number of hours for my internship?

There is no official minimum number of hours, but the Freeman Foundation requires that internships be a “substantial experience.” It is unlikely that this could be achieved at through internship less than 10 hours per week.

Does my internship need to be credit-bearing?

No, you do not have to be earning credit for your internship to be eligible to apply.

Will the Freeman Foundation hear about me?

If you are awarded, information about you and your internship will be shared with the Freeman Foundation as part of mandatory reporting.

Applying and Accepting

How do I apply for Freeman Scholars?

Apply on Global Assist, UT’s study abroad scholarship portal.

Do you have advice for the application essays?

Think about the Freeman Foundation’s goals (hint: creating connections between people!) and the purpose of study abroad. Focus your essays on your personal, academic, and/or career goals and how this internship will contribute to them. Describe your upcoming experience using professional language and terminology – no one wants to pay for your personal vacation.

My internship isn’t confirmed yet. Can I apply?

Yes. You may apply without the final details of your internship. You may be accepted as a Freeman Scholar, but your designation will not become official and your stipend cannot be disbursed until your internship is confirmed.

Who reviews Freeman Scholars applications?

Applications are reviewed by a committee. At least two reviewers read and rate each application for its merit. The Texas Global scholarship coordinator and the UT Education Abroad internship coordinator are not part of the review committees, to remove bias.

Can I become a Freeman Scholar without applying?

Under rare circumstances, a student may be nominated to become a Freeman Scholar by the study abroad program coordinator. Nominees who accept the award must fulfill the same administrative and programmatic responsibilities as all other Freeman Scholars.

How do I accept my award as a Freeman Scholar?

If you applied through Global Assist, you will need to accept the award in the Global Assist system. Additionally, all Freeman Scholars must sign a separate Freeman-specific claims form. This will be sent to you through DocuSign. You will also need to write a thank you note to the Freeman Foundation. More instructions will be included in your award notification.

When will I receive my Freeman Stipend?

Stipends take time to process. After you have been accepted to the program and completed your requirements, it will take at least two weeks for the stipend to process.

I’m an independent applicant. How does accepting this award affect me?

By accepting this Freeman Stipend from UT Study Abroad, your travel (if it was not already) is now UT-related. All students who go abroad on UT-related travel are required to register their travel. This includes entering their internship in the International Travel Registry (ITR) and paying for UT Overseas Insurance. Please register in ITR at least a month before you go abroad. You will be billed for your overseas insurance through What I Owe. Additionally, if you are traveling to a UT-Restricted Region, you will need to gain approval from the IOC.

Do I have responsibilities to UT Study Abroad during my internship?

Yes. All Freeman Scholars will be required to participate in discussion questions during their internship. You are also required to reply to all emails from UT, including the Scholarship Coordinator, your program coordinator, and Global Risk and Safety in a timely manner.

Why wasn’t I awarded?!

Unfortunately, we typically have many more qualified applicants than available funding. Award rates can be as low as 33%. If awardees change their plans, it is possible that you will be awarded later as funds become available again. In the meantime, we recommend that you review other Funding for Internships. You are eligible to apply again in a later term.


How much money will I be awarded?

Successful applicants will be awarded between $2000 – $6,000. The amount varies and depends on a variety of factors including financial need, cost of the program, and length of the program.

I got my award and it’s not as much as I would like. Can I appeal?

No. All awards are final. We recommend looking at scholarship opportunities. The Funding for Internships page is a good place to start.

How are Freeman Stipends disbursed?

Stipends are disbursed through direct deposit to the bank account you have on file. Set one up on UT Direct in My Bank Info. Make sure you know what bank account this is and confirm that you have access to it before your stipend is paid out.

I don’t have a bank account on file. Is that okay?

If you have no bank account of file, your award will be issued as a check and mailed to your permanent address. This will delay its disbursement. Use Where’s My Check to confirm the status of your check. Depending on the disbursement timeline, you may not be in that location (or even in the US!) to receive it.

Will the Freeman Stipend affect my financial aid?

Yes, if you are receiving financial aid the semester you are awarded, your aid can be impacted by receiving this grant.

Can the Freeman Stipend impact or be impacted by my other scholarships?

Yes. It is illegal for students to profit off scholarships. You may not receive more money in scholarships than the total cost of attendance for your expected program. Your Freeman Stipend may be capped or other scholarships rescinded to keep you at this maximum.

Is my Freeman Stipend taxed?

Yes, scholarships like the Freeman Stipend are considered taxable income and will be reported to the IRS.

I’m no longer doing an internship abroad. Do I need to return the money?

Yes, if you do not complete the internship for which you are awarded, you must relinquish your title as a Freeman Scholar and return the stipend in full. You may apply again in a future year.

My plans changed and I’m going abroad in a later term. Can I defer?

No, students cannot defer their award. You will need to relinquish your title as a Freeman Scholar and return any money you were awarded in full. You are eligible, however, to apply again for Freeman for a future term.

My program was cancelled and I have non-refundable costs. Do I have to return the stipend?

Yes, if you do not complete the internship you were awarded for, you must return the stipend in full. We recommend that you invest in flight insurance, just in case.


Why do Freeman Scholars have to do a project?

It’s a requirement from the Freeman Foundation to support their mission of increasing cultural understanding. By interning abroad, you are sharing and learning in East and Southeast Asia. The purpose of your project is to bring this knowledge home and to share your experience interning in East or Southeast Asia with people in your home community. You may inspire others to go abroad or give insight to those who may never have this opportunity.

What happens if I don’t do my project?

This is a requirement for Freeman Scholars. You would be required to return your stipend, in full. Please don’t let this happen to you.

What kinds of projects can I do?

This is very open to your interests and skills. Projects can be things (e.g. a pamphlet, a video) or an event (e.g. information session, concert, dance lesson, food tasting) but all projects must have a synchronous, interactive component. You are in no way limited to what has previously been done – we enjoy seeing creativity!

What should I consider in shaping my project?

Projects should be practical, useful, engaging, and professional. You must share your project with a community of students you are involved with. This community can be a club, organization, or classroom of students. Your project should focus on your experience in Asia and should be professionally focused. Your project must also have a back and forth engagement with your community. You cannot simply write a blog or make a flyer that does not allow for others to engage in a Q&A with you.

Will my project be shared publicly?

Yes, the purpose of your project is to engage with others. You should design your project knowing that it may be seen by the greater UT community.

How can I learn more about making a good project?

All Freeman Scholars are required to attend the Freeman Workshop. This will be held in late-March or April. During this workshop, you will have the opportunity to fine-tune your project proposals and share ideas with other Freeman Scholars.

Can I collaborate on my project with a partner?

Absolutely! You may work in groups of a maximum of two people. In the past, collaborative projects have been some of the best. Your partner can be, but does not have to be, another Freeman Scholar. When you meet with the UT Scholarship Coordinator upon your return to campus, all partners should attend the meeting together.

Is there additional funding to complete my project?

No. Freeman Scholars may use some of their stipend funds to for project supplies, but not additional awards can be made.

Can Texas Global promote my project?

Maybe. Depending on your project, we can supplement the outreach you are already doing. If you are hosting an event open to the wider UT community, we are happy to post it to our events calendar. Contact the scholarship coordinator to discuss your particular situation.