Butler in Asia expands to Tokyo for Summer 2020

Butler in Asia will now include Tokyo for Summer 2020. Photo courtesy of Center for Global Education.

KATIE FREEMAN | STAFF REPORTER | kmfreema@butler.edu

The Butler in Asia internship program is offering a new location for Summer 2020: Tokyo, Japan. This location will be offered alongside Shanghai, China, and Singapore. Tokyo will replace Beijing, China, which was one of the locations offered during summer 2019.

This program is a six-week-long, three-credit-hour internship that lasts from May 10 to June 28. All students are eligible for this program, regardless of their major. However, each location requires a different application, as each program has a different cost and offers a different set of internships, so students may find that one location works best for them. Each internship location has 12 spots available, totaling 36 students in the program.

Eme KennyBirch, a junior healthcare and business major, completed an internship in Singapore with the Butler in Asia Summer 2019 program. KennyBirch recently spoke at a Butler in Asia information session about her experience.

“I didn’t find out about the new location until the info session, which I spoke at,” KennyBirch said. “Immediately, [I] was like ‘OMG, I want to apply again so I can go there.’”

Each year, the Butler in Asia program switches its available locations, but locations in China and Singapore are typically offered.

Emory Lietz, a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major, completed an internship in Beijing with the Butler in Asia summer 2019 program. Lietz said that he was disappointed to hear that Beijing was no longer offered, but he thought he would have been interested in the Tokyo location had it been an option last year.

“Something cool about this year is that the Olympics are going to be in Tokyo,” Lietz said. “So, they’re going to be preparing for that while students are there.”

Tokyo will offer internships for advertising, business development and information technology, among other subjects. Students who apply for an internship will be interviewed to place them with a company that best suits their goals.

Dena Roberts, associate director of faculty-led programs, said she encourages students who are even slightly interested to apply.

“I think that having an internship opportunity abroad is something that could really change your outlook on life or your career,” Roberts said. “It helps people decide, and adding a layer of Asian culture can be transformative.”

The Butler in Asia program has been partially subsidized by a $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation. According to an article published in the Butler Newsroom, “The Freeman Foundation is dedicated to strengthening relationships between the United States and nations in East Asia.” It funds 23 universities nationwide and encourages students to engage in cultures that are different from typical study abroad locations.

The grant awards each student $5,000 towards the cost of the program. After the grant has been applied, each location will cost around $2,000 in addition to flight costs, personal outside expenses such as food, local transportation and personal travel during the program, and a $250 study abroad fee. Housing is included in the program fee.

Each internship starts with a one-week long travel experience with the entire Butler group before the full-time internship begins. The travel experience will include visits to Kyoto and Mt. Fuji.

All three internship locations are directed and accompanied by a Butler faculty member. Su-Mei Ooi, associate professor of political science and Singapore native, will direct the Singapore program. Xiaoqing Liu, associate professor of Chinese, will direct the Shanghai program, and Elise Edwards, professor of anthropology, will direct the Tokyo program.

Students interested in this program can apply until Dec. 4, 2019.

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