Meet a New Tar Heel: Emery Cagle
Growing up Emery Cagle loved to travel throughout the United States, and in high school, he had his first opportunity to travel internationally. He loved the experience so much, he went on several international trips offered by his school, visiting Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Portugal and the British territory of Gibraltar.
As Cagle, an incoming first-year student, gets ready to start the fall semester at Carolina, he is determined to visit even more of the world.
“I wanted to see other places and cultures and how other people around the world live,” said Cagle. “You are a better person if you can put yourself into someone else’s shoes and figure out what life is like for them. You gain perspective when you travel.”
The trips Cagle went on were intended to expose him and his classmates to other cultures and help them better understand different cultures in the United States, said Anya Godwin, Cagle’s high school Spanish teacher. Plus, the students are able to practice their language skills, she said.
“As a world traveler, Emery has always been willing to try anything,” said Godwin. “He is definitely a student who does not back down from a challenge. He was even the one who convinced me to taste the guinea pig that was ordered for our table when we were in Peru.”
Cagle’s family helped him pay for his first trip to Costa Rica, but he was responsible for paying for the other trips. To make money, he works 25 hours a week at his local Bojangles in his hometown of Richfield, North Carolina. The job not only helped him fund the trips, but he says he learned time management and professional skills.
“Emery is always in good spirits and that has a positive effect on other employees,” said Stacy Allman, Cagle’s supervisor at Bojangles. “He always gives 100 percent and is willing to help train and mentor new employees.”
At Carolina, Cagle plans to major in Spanish and Global Studies.
“I really appreciate that UNC has the FedEx Global Education Center – a building dedicated to global studies,” said Cagle, who will be the first in his family to go to college. “I know that I will have a good support system at Carolina, and good financial resources and an alumni network that will help when I travel.”
He also plans to explore Carolina’s study abroad opportunities, such as the UNC in Sevilla program. In the meantime, Cagle offers this advice to his classmates interested in international travel.
“If you are scared to go abroad, just take that leap of faith and do it,” Cagle said. “Odds are, you probably will like it and you probably will want to go somewhere else. It’s definitely good to get out of your neck of the woods and see the world.”
Photos by Jon Gardiner, University Communications
January 23, 2023