For many people Christmas is a time to spend with family and loved ones. Studying abroad can be a fun and rewarding experience however it can be tough if you’ll be away from your family during Christmas. If you are accustomed to spending the holidays with your family and will not have the chance to return home this season, you may find yourself celebrating Christmas while studying abroad. If you will be celebrating Christmas away from your family this year, you can still celebrate the season and make the most out of it.
Depending on which country you are studying in, you may find it harder to find Christmas celebrations if Christianity isn’t a commonly practiced religion. But even if you are in a country where Christmas is not widely celebrated, there is usually a community of people that will celebrate and welcome travelers.
Since you are studying abroad, chances are high that there are other foreign students who have no family to celebrate with. So gather your friends, classmates and other Christmas-celebrators together and enjoy the day. You can also invite your local friends to join even if they don’t celebrate Christmas. It is a great way to share your culture with each others. Remember if your friends are not Christians, Christmas celebration can just be about being together – it does not have to be religious.
If you really miss the lights and trees, consider decorating your dorm room or apartment with lights, red bows and ask your family to send you a small ornament that you can hang up. Celebrating Christmas while studying abroad doesn’t mean it has to be without your family either. On the actual day, call your family and use a video chat, like Skype. Seeing your family can make you feel more included even if you are far away.
What is Christmas without gifts? If you are by yourself, why not buy a present for yourself? Get that new camera so you can record your trip in higher quality, or treat yourself with a short trip to another city or country nearby. Many countries celebrate Christmas differently, traveling will let you see how other people enjoy the holiday.
Lastly, keep a positive frame of mind. Even if you are alone, you can spend it doing activities you enjoy like reading or watching a movie marathon. Go outside, sight see and enjoy nature. Before you know it, you might find celebrating Christmas while studying abroad is not as daunting as you originally thought!