An international student's guide to Thanksgiving
For international students studying in America, this can be a pretty strange time of year. Everyone around you is packing up and getting ready to spend the Thanksgiving break with their families, the shops are frantically busy, and the campus is grinding to a halt.
But what should you do? You're too far from home to visit your family and everyone you know has gone to visit theirs. Here are some ideas to get you excited about your festive period:
Get some work doneThe campus will be deserted; the library will be all yours and you won't have to worry about getting a computer. Some people use the holiday period as an opportunity to get some valuable work done in a calm environment without all the frenzy of term-time. It may sound a little bit nerdy, but just think how much you could achieve when you're left to your own devices!
Take a breakAlternatively, give yourself a holiday. You may not be too fussed about the whole Thanksgiving thing - you've never liked turkey and you don't know enough about American history to get your head around what's going on.
Maybe you should use the opportunity to relax. Go for a walk. Take advantage of the calm streets and just do nothing. University life involves a lot of running around, trying to keep up with deadlines while further deadlines are piled on top. It's really important to de-stress from time to time.
Go on a tripThe holiday period could be a great excuse to get some sightseeing done. Perhaps you want to go to New York and see one of the busiest cities in the world in the midst of its busiest shopping period of the year. Or maybe you want to walk the streets of power in Washington DC. Or go on a cable car tour of San Francisco!
If you plan in advance, you can take a short break quite cheaply and tick off lots of tourist essentials along the way.
Celebrate ThanksgivingEven as an international student in a foreign land, there are lots of ways to get involved. You could research Thanksgiving traditions, invite a bunch of other international students round and throw your own Thanksgiving dinner!
In some areas, you might find that there are organisations like Christmas International House who arrange for international students to be invited into family homes for the holiday period and experience it first-hand.
There are lots of options at this time of year. You might find that being away from home during the holiday season can actually be a lot of fun! What are you going to be doing?