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Hallie Criste

May 5, 2016

Hallie Criste’s study abroad experience at UNCW took her to the Far East, and her adventures as a communication studies graduate will lead her to the Land Down Under. 

Criste plans to move to Australia after graduation on May 7, where she will start a travel blog and seek a job in marketing or public relations.

“My goal is to continue challenging myself and pushing myself to take the next step forward,” said Criste, who had the opportunity to study abroad at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, during the spring of 2015. While there, she visited several cities throughout the country and toured Bangkok’s historic locales.

“I’m also so grateful to UNCW for pushing me to study abroad,” she said. “I love that so many students are given the opportunity to do so and that UNCW makes it so easy.”

One of her most memorable experiences took place during a Thai new year celebration, “where the entire city shuts down and engages in a huge water fight,” she said. “Kids, adults and elders all partake, and you can hardly cross the street without being soaked. It is their way of cleansing you and washing away any bad luck for the next year.”

UNCW’s Department of Communication Studies has given Criste a versatile skill set, she said, that will aid her no matter where she goes in the world.

“COM studies appealed to me as a degree that covers such a wide variety of professions,” she said. “I’ve loved learning about everything from public relations to digital video production to interpersonal communications. I feel so privileged to be able to honestly say that all of my professors have contributed something different to my education that I will be able to take with me on all future endeavors. They are all such awesome teachers and care so much about their students.”

Criste, who minored in psychology, also has an interest in pursuing a master’s in psychology.

“I love everything about psychology and find it fascinating,” she said. “There’s a potential I may go to graduate school to get my master’s in counseling, and I thought that having the minor would be a good start.”

Criste described her time at UNCW as a series of small, memorable moments that contributed to an incredible four years overall.

“I love the people that I’ve met here and the experiences that I’ve been given,” she said. “The students who go here love this university. There is such a spirit and pride in this school, and you don’t understand the Wilmington culture until you’re part of it.”

--- Venita Jenkins