Four Fairfield University students win Freeman-ASIA scholarships for study in East and Southeast Asia


Erin TeelingThree of the students plan to study at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, through The Beijing Center, a Jesuit consortium program for study in China. The Beijing program allows students who do not speak the language to take classes in English. The fourth student, Erin Teeling of Oak Ridge, N.J., will spend her fall semester in the Asian Studies program at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata City, near Osaka, Japan.

"Given the size and increasing importance of Asia, it is vital that as many of our students as possible study there," said Alan Katz, Ph.D., director of the Asian Studies Program at Fairfield University. "The Freeman grant will help greatly in this endeavor."

Despite the convenience of The Beijing Center program, students considering study abroad have traditionally been much less likely to choose Asian nations than European nations, said Katherine Kidd, Ph.D., director of the International Studies Program at Fairfield University.

"I think the Freeman-ASIA program has been really critical in providing an extra impetus in getting students to consider Asia as a study abJackie Dyerroad location," Dr. Kidd said.

The program requires students to share their experiences with classmates when they return from their studies in Asia, helping to interest and recruit more students for Asian exchanges, Dr. Kidd said.

Jackie Dyer, a senior and a resident of Milford, Conn., believes a study in Beijing may further her aims to work in diplomatic relations. Dyer - who majors in international studies and minors in politics, sociology/anthropology and Asian studies - hopes to begin learning Chinese during her study. "They're really going to be a major player in the international community," Dyer said of China. "I would like to get into U.S./China relations." Dyer has been a member of Fairfield University's Model United Nations club since her sophomore year and served as an officer last year. Dyer is also a member of the National Political Honor Society.

Jeffrey OliveiraJeffrey Oliveira, a resident of Fairhaven, Mass., will also study in China through the Beijing Center this Fall. Also a senior, Oliveira has already completed a semester-long study in Cape Town, South Africa. Now the international studies major and Asian studies minor is turning his attention to a different region of the globe. "This country has been isolated from the rest of the world throughout history," Oliveira said of China. "as they being to open their economy, government, and culture, I wanted to experience a part of the change."

Gabriel Munoz, of New York, N.Y., has deferred his scholarship for study in China until the spring semester.

"Study abroad for U.S. students is expanding rapidly but the number of students going to Asia has not kept pace with the rest of the world," said Susan M. Fitzgerald, director of Study Abroad Programs at Fairfield University. "The Freeman-ASIA awards increase the number of American undergraduates who study in East and Southeast Asia. Participants are expected to share their experiences with their home campus and encourage study abroad by others and to spread understanding of Asia in the United States. We wish all of them an exciting and successful Asian semester!"

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 30, 2003

Vol. 36, No. 5