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Freeman-ASIA scholarship helps fund semester in Japan for Appalachian State University sophomore Jason Le

By University Communications

BOONE—Jason Le, a sophomore from North Wilkesboro who is majoring in computer information systems in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University, is spending the current academic year studying at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

He has received one of the Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) scholarships administered by the Institute of International Education. The award includes $7,000 to assist with the cost of the study abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation and textbooks.

“We are pleased that Jason was able to take advantage of this opportunity and wish him a fruitful year in Japan,” Dr. Maria Anastasiou said. “Appalachian State University is continuing to deliver transformational learning experiences, and we are committed to encouraging more and more students to apply for scholarships such as this one.”

Anastasiou is the executive director of Appalachian’s Office of International Education and Development (OIED), which helps secure funding for education-abroad experiences for Appalachian students.

Le’s time in Japan began in September, and he expects to remain there until July 2017.

Le, who’s minoring in Japanese at Appalachian, is spending this semester taking Japanese language classes that are taught in Japanese; these will help him fulfill the requirements of his minor. His plans for the following semester at Ritsumeikan are still undecided. He said he might take business classes or switch majors since no classes in computer information systems are offered. He said he is interacting with many Japanese students in addition to people from other countries.

“The biggest benefit that studying at Ritsumeikan allows me (is) to live a new life in Japanese society and experience a whole entire world,” Le said in an email. “I am here for the experience mostly.”

The Freeman-ASIA scholarship program, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), aims to encourage support study abroad in Asia for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The program is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation, whose major objectives include strengthening relationships between the United States and the countries of East Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of students with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. Freeman-ASIA has provided scholarships for over 4,600 U.S. undergraduates from more than 600 institutions since 2001.

About the Office of International Education and Development

The OIED is responsible for spearheading the internationalization efforts at Appalachian. The internationalization mission of Appalachian is to develop awareness, knowledge, appreciation and respect of cultural differences in both domestic and international contexts in its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities. The university is also dedicated to creating a campus environment that builds the theoretical and practical skills needed to interact effectively in a global society.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.