Students receive Freeman Awards for study in Asia

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September 12, 2007

Three students from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, and Saint John’s University, Collegeville, have received Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (also known as Freeman-ASIA).           

CSB junior Molly Maxbauer, SJU senior Aaron Brown and SJU junior Zachary White each received $5,000 grants.           

Maxbauer, a political science major from Traverse City, Mich., and White, a political science major from Duluth, Minn., are both studying fall semester at Southwest University in Beibei, China. Southwest has had an over 20-year relationship with CSB/SJU.

Brown, a history major from Grand Rapids, Minn., is studying fall semester at Bunkyo Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. Bunkyo Gakuin has been a collaborative partner of CSB/SJU for over 15 years.

Both programs are CSB/SJU faculty-led programs. Henry Jakubowski, professor of chemistry at CSB/SJU, is the director of the China program, while Dave Bennetts, professor of history and chair of the department at CSB/SJU, is the director of the Japan program.

CSB and SJU were ranked No. 2 nationally among baccalaureate institutions for total number of study abroad students in the most recent annual report on international education, Open Doors 2006, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The two schools had a total of 569 students study abroad during the 2004-05 academic year, according to data released by IIE (the data will be updated in November).

About six in 10 CSB students study internationally before they graduate, a participation rate nearly twice the national average for liberal arts colleges. Before graduating, half of all CSB/SJU students will participate in one of CSB/SJU’s 17 semester-long programs. The programs are located in 13 countries on six continents.

The primary goal of Freeman-ASIA is to increase the number of U.S. undergraduates who study in eastern and southeastern Asia by providing them with the information and financial assistance they need.

Award recipients are expected to share their experiences with their “home” campuses to encourage study abroad in eastern and southeastern Asia and to spread greater understanding of Asian peoples and cultures within their home communities.

Since the launch of the program in 2000, Freeman-ASIA has supported over 3,000 U.S. undergraduates with their study abroad plans in Asia. Freeman-ASIA is administrated by the IIE with the generous support of the Freeman Foundation.

For more information on the program, visit the IIE Web site