We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Haythem Abidi
November 11, 2018
For international student Haythem Abidi, his time at UNCW allowed him to rediscover himself and grow as a global citizen.
“I have never lived among such welcoming, nice and intrigued people. Faculty, students and staff made me feel like a special someone, in a different way than ever before,” said Abidi. “Everyone was so interested to talk to me, to hear my accent, to know about my country, to invite me to theirs to make me live a real American experience with them.”
Abidi, a Thomas Jefferson Scholar, spent the 2017-18 academic year as an exchange student from the Tunis Business School in Tunisia. The Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program is a year-long study abroad program for students enrolled in Tunisian universities and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
He quickly immersed himself into campus life by joining several sports clubs and Centro Hispano. He also served as UNCW’s campus director for the Hult Prize competition, an annual competition that crowd-sources ideas from college students concerning a pressing social issue.
Despite being a marketing major with a minor in business analytics, Abidi’s career goals are not exactly related to his studies. He would like to pursue a career as a tennis coach.
“Working in this environment not only provides me with a daily sense of accomplishment, but it also makes me happy,” he explained. “Whenever I step on the court with those eager youngsters, everything just feels right. The excitement of waking up every day to work is a feeling I would not want to give up. My biggest career aspiration is to form a tennis academy.”
Abidi said his exchange experience at UNCW exceeded all his expectations.
“It is amazing how much you can change in ways you cannot imagine, just by being curious, being open to differences and being kind. I am grateful to UNCW for all the opportunities they provided me, and I hope that I made a positive addition to the community in my time there.”
-- Venita Jenkins