Scholarship opens door to East

The Freeman Foundation Scholarship is allowing students to study in Asia.

Study abroad students that have the desire to participate in credit-offered internships while studying at Temple University, Japan Campus are now able to apply for additional scholarship funding.

The Freeman Foundation is a private and philanthropic foundation dedicated to augmenting international understanding between the United States and the nations of East Asia. The foundation recently provided Temple with a grant that will fund scholarships for selected study abroad Japan participants.

Students that are interested in participating for fall or spring semesters may apply for the scholarship, which is valued at up to $4,000. Students that are interested in summer internships can apply for scholarships up to $5,000.

In conjunction with receiving additional funding, students named Freeman Scholars are each matched with a professional mentor in Tokyo that will guide students through Japanese culture, life in Tokyo and general career advice.

Fall 2013 Freeman Scholar Jordan Sievers said, “It’s not just money, it’s about this package deal of support financially and what the mentor can do for you.”

Sievers, a film and media arts major who graduated this past spring, had the opportunity to complete an internship with The Japan Times, in the life and culture section.

He said one of his favorite opportunities was getting to interview famous Spanish guitarist Juan Manuel Cañizares. Sievers said he was shocked at the positive comments he received from Cañizares at the end of the interview, who said Sievers’ interview was the best of many interviews he had experienced that day.

Sievers said he studied with people from all over the world, including a surprising amount of Americans that he said go to Temple University Japan for their full four-year degree.

Sievers said he also loved the fact that the class sizes at TUJ are small.

“There are no big lecture halls, which was good because the teachers can get to know everyone, opposed to [the] few classes that I have [on Main Campus], where some lecture halls are big and makes it hard for teachers to notice you,” Sievers said.

Sievers had an opportunity to take on a project writing  his own short film. He described the film as a “Japanese centric” and in Spring 2014, he was awarded for his project at the TUJ Film Festival.

Sievers said he will be returning to Japan as an English teacher next year in the spring. He said he is willing to become fluent in Japanese and will eventually work in the Japanese television or entertainment marketing industry.

Manager of Outreach and Communication for Education Abroad Suzanne Willever said the internship program is a great opportunity for study abroad students to get outside of their comfort zone.

“There are definitely some growing pains, but it’s a good thing,” Willever said. “You see how much you grow and change from the experience; you’re grateful for all of the challenges that came with that.”

Jasmine Johnson can be reached at

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