Pfaehler to Intern in Vietnam this Summer

Student from Independence part of new UM program funded by Freeman Foundation

OXFORD, Miss. – David Pfaehler, of Independence, Kentucky, is one of 17 University of Mississippi students who will be interning in East and Southeast Asia this summer, thanks to a substantial grant from the Freeman Foundation of Stowe, Vermont.

Pfaehler is a sophomore in the UM College of Liberal Arts, where his two majors are international studies and French, with an emphasis in pre-medicine. He has an internship with Vietnam National Children’s Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. He is among the inaugural members of the UM Experiential Learning in East Asia program at the university.

This $100,000 program allows selected undergraduates to complete a summer internship of at least eight weeks in summer 2018. Each will receive $5,000 from the Freeman Foundation grant and an additional $2,500 provided by the university’s Office of Global Engagement and the students’ respective Ole Miss schools.

The goal of the Freeman Foundation’s grant is to help students gain real-life experience while interacting regularly with local populations. Established in 1994 by the estate of AIG co-founder Mansfield Freeman, the foundation’s general mission is “to strengthen the bonds of friendship between this country and those of the Far East” and “to stimulate an exchange of ideas in economic and cultural fields which will help create mutual understanding.”

Headed by Mansfield Freeman’s grandson, Graeme Freeman, the foundation donates approximately $50 million annually to programs such as study abroad scholarships for Asian and American students and the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia, which has supported the efforts of the UM Croft Institute for International Studies to strengthen teaching about East Asia for more than 15 years.

This grant lets the Croft Institute and other participating campus units deliver on the university’s commitment to educate and engage global citizens and to support experiential learning, two core principles in the university’s Flagship Forward strategic plan. Students chosen for UM Experiential Learning in East Asia will learn how a foreign culture affects the work environment and help prepare them to succeed.

The goal is to make the UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia program a permanent feature at the university.

For more information about UM Experiential Learning in Eastern Asia, visit A more detailed news release about the program can be found here