Studying abroad opens doors to other countries, cultures, and ideas, instilling a love of learning by allowing students to collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds in an immersive environment. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a selective, federally funded program that offers financial assistance to students who want to study abroad. Gajmere McLemore, a senior Graphic Communications major at the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, was named one of the nine national scholarship recipients and received the maximum dollar amount possible for an applicant.
McLemore, from Beaufort, SC, is ecstatic to have been chosen, as the impact of the scholarship will be significant. “Being a recipient of the Benjamin A Gilman Scholarship will not only offset the cost of studying abroad but will also make me a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs, other scholarships, and graduate admission,” McLemore says.
While applying for the scholarship, McLemore credited the Office of Major Fellowships for their extensive help. At the beginning of the application period, McLemore did not know where to start; however, he sought help from the Office and encouraged others to do the same when applying for scholarships like the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. “The Office of Major Fellowships is dedicated to helping students navigate the application process for nationally competitive scholarships, grants, and fellowships,” McLemore comments. “They offer a variety of resources for application support, including draft reviews and access to exemplar essays.”
As a first-generation student, the opportunity to study in Germany for the next semester is a chance McLemore did not want to miss out on. “My mom didn’t have the opportunity…she always pushed me to do things that she didn’t get to do…,” he shares. “I just feel like because my parents didn’t have that opportunity, I want to be the person to step out of my comfort zone and take advantage of opportunities like this. So, when I have children, I can share my experience with them and be that guide for them as well”. He’s looking forward to attending a college specializing in art and hopes that studying abroad will open opportunities to collaborate with more artists. McLemore departs in March for Stuttgart, Germany and returns to Clemson in July to finish his remaining degree requirements.
McLemore suggests that any students who feel they have financial or time constraints preventing them from studying abroad should reach out to the Office of Major Fellowships or the Office of Career and Global Engagement for more information on similar scholarship opportunities.
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