Two University of Mississippi students are spending their fall semesters abroad after receiving grants from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.
Junior political science major and Japanese minor Wesley McGee is studying at Osaka Gakuin University in Suita, Japan. Senior Anatole Langdon, who has a double major in philosophy and Russian, is at the International University in Moscow.
McGee and Langdon were among only 1,000 undergraduate students across the U.S. awarded scholarships after a highly competitive selection process. The prestigious scholarships present unique opportunities for the two Ole Miss recipients, said Blair McElroy, UM Study Abroad adviser.
“The Gilman International Scholarship is a great opportunity for students to fund a study abroad experience and makes study abroad available to so many students,” McElroy said. “Along with the Study Abroad Office exchange programs and the ability to use other scholarships and financial aid toward a program, students have amazing, affordable opportunities to study at over 80 locations in the world.”
Langdon said spending time in Russia has not only helped him learn the language more quickly, but also has given him a broader understanding of its native culture.
“I am taking history of Russia, Russian grammar, speech, literature, Russian news and propaganda, and a Russian film class,” said Langdon, a Waveland native. “I enjoy a lot of things about the program, but the greatest reward has to come from the fact that every day I understand more of the language and about Russian culture and see the people more fully and three-dimensionally.”
McGee, originally from Myrtle, said he most enjoys meeting exchange students from other countries and learning more about the diversity of lifestyles in Japan.
“I am currently taking an intermediate-level Japanese course, as well as the Japanese Proficiency Language Test Level 2 preparation class,” McGee said. “I am taking two classes in Japanese about Japanese culture, as well as one culture class in English. As of now, I am enjoying meeting the other exchange students from around the world and other places from the United States. I haven’t had the chance to meet Japanese students because they have not started classes yet.”
Along with receiving the Gilman Scholarship, McGee also received funding from the Japan Student Services Organization.
“The Gilman helped me pay for my school expenses such as tuition and the plane ticket, while the JASSO scholarship is helping with my housing here in Japan and other things like books and money that I can use for my own purposes,” he said.
For more information on the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, visit http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program. More information about the University of Mississippi Study Abroad program can be found at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/study_abroad/.