Senior plans to expand global knowledge through travel

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    With graduation only weeks away, one university student can hardly wait for the day she can put down the books to ride elephants through an unfamiliar culture.

    After walking across the stage on Dec. 15, graduating senior communication studies major Caitlin Moncrief will fly across the world to Southeast Asia.

    For six weeks, Moncrief and three friends will be traveling through the countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, she said.

    “After studying abroad in Spain for six months and backpacking through Europe, I wanted to do something different,” Moncrief said.

    “I like being immersed in different cultures and having to figure it out,” she said. “That is one of my favorite things about traveling.”

    While in Asia, Moncrief said they will be doing “touristy” activities, such as sight seeing and touring ancient religious temples.

    The one thing Moncrief wants to do more than anything while traveling is ride an elephant, she said.

    “I road on a camel for two hours through the Sahara Desert and spent the night there,” Moncrief said. “It would be neat to be able to have an experience like that again.”

    When Moncrief was younger, she was able to travel abroad on several occasions with her father Bill Moncrief, who is a marketing professor on campus. He said that he believes that is where her drive to travel started.

    “I am delighted that Caitlin loves to travel abroad because the more knowledge of culture and places, the better off you are going to be in the global world,” Bill Moncrief said. “I think it will serve her well in her career."

    Moncrief said she spent last summer in Panama, where she had an internship and practiced her Spanish.  

    After her upcoming trip, Moncrief will have visited a total of 29 different countries.

    “My dad and I have almost made it a competition to see who can go to the most countries,” Moncrief said. “He’s mad because I’m winning.”

    Moncrief said her favorite college experience was studying abroad. She highly recommends all college students to do so.

    “Studying abroad taught me simplicity and to not take what you are given for granted,” Moncrief said. “I am excited to see what I will take away from the East Asian culture.”

    When asked where she sees herself in 10 years, Moncrief laughed and said, “Either in the corporate world owning my own business or living in a quaint European town.”