Summer Internships in Japan

KEEPAs 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.  Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, no internships were available from 2020-22.  Participation in the 2023 program will be contingent upon pandemic conditions.  This is a great way in which to fulfill the College’s Active Learning Experience (ALE) requirement.

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.  More than 35,000 people participated in KEEP programming in 2013-14 and attendance at KEEP’s three museums was more than 100,000 people. 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 (Japanese language skills are not required, but are strongly recommended)

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, there is one intern position available to a Berea College students for summer (May-July) 2023:

Museum Assistant — This intern will assist KEEP staff responsible for the Paul Rusch Memorial Museum by leading museum tours for English speakers, researching  the background of individual museum collection pieces (including reading cursive English writing in hand-written archival documents), assisting with the cleaning, opening, and closing of the museum, and cataloging archival items.  Fluency in Japanese language is not required but successful applicants are welcome to use as much Japanese as possible when interacting with museum visitors, including at the reception desk.

Access the complete position description here.

How can I apply?

Applications for summer 2023 are due by February 1, 2023Access the application here

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 InternshipsFollowing 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, 2023.

For more information, please contact the Office of Internships and Career Development.