Villanova University has been awarded a two-year $350,000 grant from The Freeman Foundation to its Center for Global Leadership, housed in the Villanova School of Business (VSB). The grant will expand student participation in internships in East and Southeast Asia. The funding will allow undergraduates from across the University’s schools and colleges to take part in internship programs in Asia, including the Shanghai Business and Communication Internship programs and the Global Citizens program, as well as expanded internship opportunities in a variety of other industries.
The grant is a continuation of the Freeman Foundation’s partnership with Villanova to create opportunities for students to study and work in key emerging global markets where they gain a competitive edge for years to come.
Last year, a Freeman Foundation award of $100,000 to Villanova was a powerful driver of increased student participation in the East and Southeast Asia internship programs. During the summer of 2015, 24 students successfully completed internships in Asia, up from 13 in summer 2014. The Freeman Foundation funding was responsible for an 85 percent increase in program enrollments for 2015, and an increase of more than 160 percent in student participation from 2013. The new funding will provide scholarships for 30 students in 2016 and 40 in 2017.
“Securing an additional $350,000 in funding from the Freeman Foundation is transformational for the University, and more importantly, for our students who could not otherwise afford this life-changing opportunity,” said Kim Cahill, Director of the Center for Global Leadership in the Villanova School of Business. “Expanding and enhancing internship opportunities in Shanghai and Singapore, combined with new locations in Asia, will be an invaluable experience in today’s competitive global economy.”
International experiences are considered an integral part of education at Villanova. Nearly 40 percent of the Villanova University graduating class of 2015 studied overseas and 17 percent participated in a summer or semester-length internship experience. The Freeman Foundation grant will allow for even greater participation by students in the East and South East Asia internship program.
“The generous Freeman Foundation grant is an extraordinary gift to the Villanova community, allowing the University to support additional internship opportunities in Asia and to expand our program offerings in the region,” said Elizabeth Campanella, director of Education Abroad at Villanova. “We are thrilled to be able to offer more students the invaluable cross-cultural experiences gained by spending time abroad at such a pivotal time in their lives.”
Global internships have helped broaden Villanova student perspectives on how business is conducted in other parts of the world, as they experience a new culture and professional environment. Villanova alumni in East and Southeast Asia help identify internship placements for students, provide mentoring and facilitate site visits and other services in the region. Asian internship placements for 2015 included Unilever, Fudan University Institute of Brain Science, SMH International, Lehman Brown and Asia Pacific Financial Council.