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The International Student Blog

Thanksgiving in 2020

Posted on November 1st, 2020 by Luke Clausen

This semester, students around the United States and the rest of the world have returned to campus for the first time since the Spring semester. Freshman students who are attending college for the first time won’t have anything to compare their first semester to, so they may not notice anything out of the ordinary. But anybody who has spent any time adjusting to a college schedule knows that, so far, this semester has been unique. And, it’s only fitting that the proposed Thanksgiving break plans are unlike anything college students have seen before. So, what do institutions have planned for this semester?

Thanksgiving Break

This year, instead of having students home to their families by holiday break in winter, several schools have decided to, in anticipation of a spike in coronavirus cases, forgo fall break and have students home by Thanksgiving break instead. Others have opted to hold final exam week online instead of returning to campus. Because of this, Thanksgiving will be extra special this year. In addition to all the typical Thanksgiving traditions, this year’s Thanksgiving will mark the end of each student’s semester, and in many cases, their time to reunite with their families. Thanksgiving is already about coming together over a meal and enjoying each other’s company, but this spirit will only be strengthened by the fact that students will be returning home to their families for a longer amount of time than Thanksgiving break usually entails. 

Ideas for International Students Unable to Return Home

Many international students won’t be able to return to their families during this break. If you’re not able to go home for the holidays this year here are some ideas to consider:  

  • As an international student, adjusting to life in the United States can be challenging, but one of the best ways to adjust to a new culture is to observe family life, and how families from that culture operate. Consider tagging along with a friend who’s going home to celebrate the holidays but only if you’re feeling healthy!
  • If you haven’t been invited to stay with a friend during the break, you can still have a great holiday in your college town. Having a small Thanksgiving dinner with only people in your household is a safe way to celebrate. However, if you don’t live with anyone else, consider having a small outdoor dinner with your friends who stayed in your college town.
  • Even if you’re unable to physically gather with your loved ones, there’s always the option to hold a virtual Thanksgiving dinner via video chat.

No matter how you are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, we hope it’s one to remember! Be sure to review the CDC’s guidelines for celebrating before making your plans and stay safe and healthy!

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