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Summer Internships in Japan

Summer Internships in Japan

As a result of a partnership between Berea College and the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP) since 2014, Berea students has had the opportunity to spend a summer working at a diverse non-profit in rural Yamanashi Prefecture, located just a few hours’ travel west of Tōkyō, Japan. This is a great way in which to fulfill the College’s Active Learning Experience (ALE) requirement. Because KEEP internships are subsidized by the generous support of the American Committee for KEEP, a non-College source of funding, participation in KEEP internships does not disqualify students from receiving funding for study abroad from the College, either before or after interning at KEEP.

What is KEEP?

KEEP is a diverse organization that brings together several different non-profit economic and community development projects, anchored by its hotel and retail business operations in the Yatsugatake Highlands of central Japan just north of Mt. Fuji. Historically, it is rooted in the Christian principle of service to others. Paul Rusch (1897-1979), a Kentuckian and longtime lay missionary to Japan, founded KEEP with the ideals of “food, health, faith, and hope for youth.” (KET highlighted Paul Rusch’s life on its Kentucky Life program.) Historically, KEEP has worked to put these ideals into practice by promoting youth leadership training, agricultural and environmental education, and international peace-building through cultural exchange programs. Yamanashi Prefecture and central Kentucky share a common equestrian tradition: the Mt. Yatsugatake Horse Show held each summer in Hokuto City is famed throughout Japan. KEEP facilitates an exchange program between Berea, Richmond, and Madison County with Hokuto City, the municipality where KEEP is located.

Who can apply?

Any student who meets the following criteria is eligible to apply for the KEEP Summer Internship Program:

  • Has completed two regular terms of study at Berea
  • Has a minimum GPA of 2.25
  • Is not in his/her final term at Berea
  • Is not on academic, labor, or social probation
  • Is not an F-1 international student
  • Has personal and/or professional interests that relate to KEEP’s mission and activities (basic Japanese language skills are required for some positions, but are strongly recommended for all positions -- see position descriptions below)

Housing, meals, and transportation to/from the airport in Japan will be provided by KEEP.  There are limitations regarding Berea College funding for international internships if you have received Berea funding for a previous international experience.

What would I do at KEEP?

Currently, KEEP offers two intern positions to Berea College students for the period between June 16, 2024 and August 16, 2024:

How can I apply?

Applications are due by the February 1 prior to the summer of intended service. Click on the position descriptions above to begin the application process.

Each application must be accompanied by recommendations from two faculty members, which should be emailed directly by the recommenders to the deadline listed above.

Shortly after this deadline, applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of faculty from the Asian Studies Department as well as the Coordinator of Internships.  Following interviews with finalist applicants, one intern will be chosen by the committee.  The successful applicant will then meet with the Director of Internships and the Education Abroad Adviser to review the process necessary for participation in an international internship, which includes an application to the Center for International Education (CIE) and an internship proposal to the Office of Internships and Career Development, each of which must be submitted by February 15.