As a result of a partnership between Berea College and the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP), almost every year since 2014 a small group of 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 in 2020 or 2021. Participation in the 2022 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 non-profit economic and community development project that is rooted in the Christian principle of service to others and located in the Yatsugatake Highlands of central Japan just north of Mt. Fuji. 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 highly 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 are two intern positions available to Berea College students each summer (May-July):
- Assistant English Language Teacher — This intern will assist KEEP staff with English language and cultural exchange programs for young children as well as older members of the Kiyosato community.
- 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, and cataloging archival items.
Access the intern position descriptions here.
How can I apply?
Each application must be accompanied by recommendations from two faculty members, which should be emailed directly by the recommenders to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 28, 2022.
Shortly after January 28, 2022, 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, two interns will be chosen by the committee. The two successful applicants 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, 2022.
For more information, please contact the Office of Internships and Career Development.