Learning Abroad Center

Freeman Asia

General Scholarship Information

The Freeman-ASIA Scholarship Program is designed to support US-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of US citizens and permanent residents with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures.

Resources for University of Minnesota Students

Gilman/Freeman-ASIA Scholarship: Virtual Info Session

Tuesday, September 21, 12:30-1:30pm

Advance registration is required to attend.

If you are unable to attend the live session, or wish to review the information early, you may access the Zoom recording of a previous session from September 2021 (login and UMN email may be required).

This session covers eligibility requirements, the application process, tips for applying, and additional resources. A significant part of the webinar will focus on guidance for crafting high-quality Gilman and/or Freeman-ASIA Scholarship essays.

Contact Thuy Doan with questions.

Gilman/Freeman-ASIA Scholarship: Individual Feedback on Essay Drafts

For the October 2021 and March 2022 application cycles, the LAC will continue to offer individual essay feedback meetings via Zoom with advisers who have served as Gilman scholarship reviewers in the past. These meetings are available to info session attendees and may be scheduled after the webinar. If you would like feedback on your Gilman essay, email your draft to Thuy Doan at least one week prior to the info session.

Note: advisers cannot review drafts submitted fewer than 5 business days before the application deadline. We recommend that you review Gilman's Composing Competitive Essays video and prior to writing your draft. Although the video is produced by the Gilman scholarship, many of the writing strategies can be applied to any scholarship essay. You may also find the Follow-on Service Project Info Session and Follow-on Project FAQ videos helpful in drafting your proposal idea. Students may also meet with an adviser any time before or after the webinar to discuss essay ideas even if they don't have a draft ready. A list of available reviewers and their contact information will be shared at the info session and also is available via the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship Checklist (under Certifying Freeman-ASIA Advisers at the Learning Abroad Center).

Future Sessions & Workshops

  • Gilman/Freeman-ASIA Scholarship info sessions and workshops are offered every semester.
  • Spring semester info session and essay writing workshop will be offered in mid-February 2022.

Freeman-ASIA Scholarship Checklist

Review the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship Checklist for step-by-step instructions specific to UofM students applying to this scholarship. The checklist also includes application tips and a list of certifying advisers at the Learning Abroad Center and the Office of Student Finance.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident at the time of application
  • Currently receive need-based financial aid or demonstrate a verifiable need for financial assistance to participate in the proposed study abroad program. The applicant is required to submit the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) figure, calculated through FAFSA, with the statement of financial need through the online Freeman-ASIA application.
  • Be an undergraduate student with a minimum GPA of 2.8, pursuing his or her first bachelor's degree (or associate's degree), at a two-year or a four-year institution of higher education in the US
  • Apply through the US home campus and have at least one term of enrollment remaining at the home institution in the US upon returning from studying abroad in Asia
  • Have applied or have been accepted to a study abroad based program in: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, or Vietnam. A multi-country program is eligible only if the applicant will spend at least 8 weeks in one of the countries stated above and will have intensive language study during that period.
  • Have applied to or have been accepted by a study abroad based program that awards academic credits through the home campus or other US accredited college or university. The proposed length of study in the host country must be a minimum of 8 weeks for a summer term, 10 weeks for a quarter term, and 12 weeks for a semester term.
  • Have little or no previous experience in the country in which he or she plans to study. A summer term applicant must not have spent more than 4 weeks in the proposed country of study within the last 5 years. A semester or an academic year term applicant must not have spent more than 6 weeks in the proposed country of study within the last 5 years.
  • Submit the online Freeman-ASIA Student Impact Survey within one month of returning to the United States and must initiate his/her service project to promote study abroad opportunities in Asia on the college campus and/or in the local community
  • Submit the Freeman-ASIA Final Service Report on the implementation of his/her service project at the end of the term following his/her return to the US.
  • Not be a previous Freeman-ASIA award recipient

Selection criteria

Preference will be given to students who:

  • Participate in language study that will enhance their ability to engage with the host culture.
  • Enroll in a study abroad program with at least 20 hours per week of class time, incorporating the study of an East or Southeast Asian language, culture, and history.
  • Participate in a study abroad programs taught by host country faculty members.
  • Demonstrate sincere interest in incorporating East or Southeast Asian Studies into future academic and/or professional plans.
  • Show commitment to and demonstrate interest in East or Southeast Asian Studies
  • Submit a high quality service project proposal


Note that the Freeman ASIA scholarship now only has one application cycle per year.

Term Term Dates Student Deadline*
Summer 2022 Programs beginning between May 1, 2022 and August 1, 2022 TBA (likely March 2022)
Fall 2022/Academic Year 2022-23 Programs beginning between July 15, 2022 and October 15, 2022
TBA (likely March 2022)
Spring/Calendar Year 2023 Programs beginning between Dec 15, 2022 and April 15, 2023
TBA (likely March 2022)

* Your study abroad and financial aid advisers have one week after the student deadline to certify your scholarship application.

Award Amounts

A Freeman-ASIA Award provides need-based funding to assist the recipient with the cost of the study abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation, books, etc.

  • Summer Award: up to $3,000
  • Semester/Quarter Award: up to $5,000
  • Academic Year Award: up to $7,000

How to Submit Your Application

There are two components to the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship Application:

  1. Online application that includes uploading official transcripts
  2. Online certifications from the applicant’s study abroad and financial aid adviser

Both components must be completed by the deadlines above in order for your application to be accepted. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered and extensions cannot be granted.

Visit the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship website to learn more about this opportunity, review webinars with application tips, and to get started on your application.