Ilich Mejía is a global grad from La Ceiba, Honduras. Ilich is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication at the School of Media and Journalism.
What made you choose UNC/NC when deciding on a program/place to study?
I decided to come to UNC because its School of Media and Journalism has an excellent reputation as one of the best in its field. I also watched several student testimonials and was impressed by how zealously Tar Heels talk about their school. I wanted to come somewhere welcoming and open to new ways of thinking. UNC was it. It helped that it doesn’t get too cold in North Carolina!
What is the most different thing you’ve seen or experienced since being here in comparison to your home country?
I came from a small, coastal town that’s enveloped in nature: waterfalls, rivers, mountains, mountains minutes away. I miss being so close to the beach, but I’m comforted by UNC’s lively, green campus.
What is something you wish you had known before moving here?
I wish I had known how far the distances were! I enjoy walking, but did not anticipate walking in the cold. I’m from the tropics, so I welcome a break from sweating, but I find myself missing it as the temperatures continue to get chillier.
Where is a place in your home country that every tourist should visit and why?
Everyone should go to Roatán at least once! It is the biggest island in Honduras and home to the second largest coral reef in the world. It’s coated with see-through waters, white sand, friendly locals, and the best seafood. If you’re a dancer—good or bad—you won’t have a hard time keeping busy on the island.
How will your Carolina degree help you make a difference in the world?
After graduating, I hope to apply what I learn in Carolina about inclusion and communication to improve the discourse and visibility of marginalized or underrepresented groups, like women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, in developing nations like Honduras.