News & Events

Freeman Asia Program Sends 36 IWU Students Abroad

Freeman Asia Intern Group Photo
The 2019 Group of Freeman Asia Interns includes 36 students from all different majors.

June 5, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A group of 36 IWU Freeman Asia interns will spend the summer working at internship sites in four countries across Asia, thanks to funding support from the Freeman Foundation. This year’s group is the most diverse. Of the students selected, 56 percent identify as non-white or international students. Seven of IWU's first cohort of Posse scholars are participating in this year’s program.

Funding allows for students to participate without having to pay for airfare, living costs, visa costs or housing. The program places each student in an internship associated with their interests. Since its start in 2015, the program has been directed by Professor of Sociology Teddy Amoloza. This year Dr. Amoloza added two new internship sites to the program.

Dr. Amoloza Speaking to Freeman Asia Interns
Dr. Amoloza addresses this year's group of interns. She has served as the director for the program since its start in 2015.

“This is the fifth year of this Asia internship program and it continues to attract students from all majors on campus. I am very pleased with the addition of two new sites this year: Koding Kingdom in Hong Kong and St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center in the Philippines. With the 14 sites in 4 countries, we are able to offer opportunities to all IWU students regardless of major. While managing this program takes a significant amount of time, hearing about the profoundly eye-opening experiences of IWU students and witnessing the transformation in their life perspectives and views of the world are well worth all the hard work. I always look forward to debriefing with the students when they return,” Dr. Amoloza said.

The application for the Freeman Asia program is open to all Illinois Wesleyan sophomore and junior students, both domestic and international, from all majors. Internship times vary, but most take place from the beginning of June to the beginning of August.

Annika Fuller ‘20 will be interning with Earth Rights International in Thailand. “I am very excited to have this opportunity. I think having an internship in another country will expand who I am. I will be able to see there is life beyond the borders I have been in and people live differently than me, and it is time I begin to understand those differences,” Fuller said.

“I chose to apply for the Freeman Asia program because this is an incredible opportunity that I don't think I could find without Wesleyan and Dr. Amoloza. I am an environmental studies major, so it is also important for me to not only see the impacts of environmental degradation in America, but in other places of the world, especially places where the impacts of climate change are felt much more drastically. This internship offers the chance for me to step outside my comfort zone, which is something everyone in college should attempt to do, and luckily, Wesleyan is able to offer multiple ways for me to do so.”

Ian O’Toole ’20 will be interning with Second Harvest Japan in Tokyo, Japan. “I chose to apply to the Freeman Asia program because my previous experiencing studying abroad in London was the best I've had in my life and I didn't want to pass up the incredible chance to potentially do it again. Additionally, I've never traveled anywhere in Asia before, but I've wanted to visit ever since my parents adopted my little sisters from China. I can barely believe that it's happening, but I'm very honored to have been selected to go to Japan this summer,” O’Toole said.

Locations that continue from previous years and the students selected this year include:

Mission for Migrant Workers, a nonprofit in Hong Kong — Adna Mujovic ’21 (German and international studies major from Glenview, Ill.) and Shaela Phillips ’20 (philosophy and political science major from Marrero, La.);

Aoyama Gakuin University - Chat Room in Tokyo, Japan — Caleb Hansen ’21 (physics and secondary education major from Verona, Wis.), Danielle Ponsot ’20 (English literature and secondary education major from Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Dareana Roy ’21 (political science major from Harvey, La.);

Kanda University of International Studies - Self-Access Learning Center in Chiba, Japan — Jacob Mahaffey ’21 (computer science major from Plainfield, Ill.);

Second Harvest Japan, a food-banking organization in Tokyo, Japan — Ian O’Toole ’20 (business administration and theater arts major from Fort Collins, Colo.) and Tatum Zsorey ’21 (international studies major from Chandler, Ariz.);

Shiro Oni Studio, an arts collective in Onishi, Japan — Yubei Shen ’20 (theater arts major from Changsha, China) and Lizette Toto ’21 (art major from New Orleans, La.);

Technos International College in Tokyo, Japan — Rachel McCarthy ’21 (English literature and psychology major from Riverside, Ill.) and Devesh Mondal ‘21 (finance major from Aurora, Ill.);

World Friendship Center, a bed and breakfast with a peace mission in Hiroshima, Japan — Natalia Kuca ’21 (international studies major from Northbrook, Ill.) and Yovana Milosevic ’21 (English writing major from Lakewood, Colo.);

Food & Nutrition Research Institute, a government institute in Metro Manila, Philippines:

Human Nature in Santa Rosa, Philippines — Lark Commanday ’20 (English literature major from Peoria, Ill.) and David Werner ’21 (economics and political science major from Frankfort, Ill.);

International Rice Research Institute - Laboratories, an institution that trains scientists and researchers in Los Baños, Philippines — Ayana Blair ’21 (biochemistry major from Wheeling, Ill.), Meghan Bowler ’21 (biology and chemistry major from Park Ridge, Ill.), Dilyetna Gebru ’20 (biology major from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.) and Zoephia Laughlin ’20 (biology major from Forrest Park, Ill.);

International Rice Research Institute - Sustainable Impact Platform — Thao Le ’21 (economics major from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)

Make-A-Difference (MAD) Travel, a sustainable social tourism platform based in Makati City , Philippines — Leah Carter ’20 (environmental studies major from Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Emma Darragh ’20 (marketing major from Granite Bay, Calif.) and Quentin Jackson ’21 (French and international studies major from New Orleans, La.);

EarthRights International, a nonprofit organization in defense of human rights and the environment in Chiang Mai, Thailand — Annika Fuller ’20 (economics and environmental studies major from Kansas City, Mo.) and Angela Roman ’20 (biology and secondary education major from Mt. Prospect, Ill.);

New locations and their interns include:

Koding Kingdom, an established private coding and STEM academy, based in Hong Kong — Jarlai Morris ’21 (computer science and English writing major from New Orleans La.);

St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center, the first cancer institute in the Philippines that offers Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) based in Sto. Tomas City, Philippines. The institute offers the latest in medical technology, especially in cancer treatment. — Emily Lezcano ’20 (nursing major from Wood Dale, Ill.) and Elia Nava '20 (nursing major from Chicago).

By Samira Kassem ‘21