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Each year since 2013, Robert P. Stiller School of Business students have traveled to various countries in Asia for life-changing internships, courtesy of a prestigious grant from the Freeman Foundation. The primary destination has been Shanghai, China, with academic support through the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics. A more recent partnership in Kyoto, Japan, has opened further possibilities for students.
The Freeman Foundation Grant allows business students to gain global professional experiences—as well as valuable language and intercultural skills—for very little personal cost.
Over the years, some of our students' internships have evolved into full-time jobs post-graduation.
"Being accepted into this program was a major achievement," said alumna Alaina Cellini, who interned at Shanghai Hippo Animation Company for 10 weeks in the summer of 2013 (the inaugural year of the program). Cellini utilized her interests in supply chain sustainability, marketing, and consulting in the internship at China's leading animation company. "My three months in China were some of the most life-changing ones."
The success of the Freeman Foundation Grant program allowed Champlain to expand program opportunities to Kyoto, Japan, in 2019.
Kyoto brings in more than 55 million tourists on an annual basis, and while it may be known for its stunning gardens and temples, it's also one of the country's main hubs for hi-tech companies. An international internship in Kyoto offers professional development, real-world work experience, and the ability to gain a new cultural experience in a beautiful location. Intern in fields such as:
The grant provides a stipend toward normal expenses associated with a semester or summer internship in China or Japan. The grant also covers room and board through trusted third-party providers, an internship placement fee, and airfare to China or Japan. Students may budget for regional travel, food, and other goods. The program also provides 24/7 in-country support to students while they are abroad.
"We believe that we've built a successful internship model in China with the Freeman Foundation's generous grant, and we're confident the program will continue to provide incredibly successful and rewarding professional and personal experiences for the students," said Dean of the Stiller School of Business, Dr. Scott Baker.
Baker believes the Freeman Grant has been renewed "due to the incredible success of these programs, which were implemented through extensive collaboration between the Stiller School, the Office of International Education, the Registrar's Office, and the Office of Advancement."
Champlain College works with third-party providers to match students' majors and interests to internships through established networks of in-country organizations. Champlain faculty and staff routinely travel to various locations to check in on our students, connect with internship supervisors and officials, and help students upon their arrival and departure.
While our staff members are there, they also interview students' site supervisors to ensure a shared understanding of the high level of work Champlain students are prepared for and the added value they bring to the organizations where they intern. We make deliberate efforts to ensure that our students participate in real work—they don't stand at the photocopier or pick up coffee orders all day. Clarifying expectations around the work students will be doing is a priority for the quality and success of current and future placements at these particular organizations.