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Category: Experience

Thanksgiving with an International Student

2017-03-14 Experience Read:

America’s second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. Americans know what this means… Time to get that turkey in the oven! For Chinese students studying abroad though, this holiday may seem a little confusing at first. Check out these tips on how to help your student understand this holiday and how to involve them:


Introduce the History

The extent of many first-time international students’ knowledge of Thanksgiving is that there is a lot of food involved. As a holiday though, Thanksgiving goes far deeper than this. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to each other. Share the roots of Thanksgiving with your student if they have never heard the origins. Click here for a brief history of our beloved holiday.


Preparing for the Feast

If your family cooks Thanksgiving dinner yourselves, try asking your homestay student if they would like to partake in cooking the meal. This is a great chance to introduce to them some classic American dishes and give them a sneak peak at what they will be getting into later on!


Tune into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Six miles of over-sized balloons and pizazz, what’s not to love? Many of the characters of the parade represent global pop culture icons, many of which your international friend will surely recognize.


Throw Around that Ol’ Pigskin

Although it’s a strange phrase, the tradition of throwing around a football on Thanksgiving day dates back to the Great Depression. This is a great opportunity to give your student a feel for a traditional American pastime. If your student isn’t into playing the sport, watching the big Thanksgiving day game is also always another option.


The Feast

Since it’s also Chinese tradition to host big family gatherings and consume excessive amounts of food, most Chinese students aren’t strangers to the Thanksgiving-style get-together. If it is your family’s tradition to go around the table and share what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving, see if your student wants to partake. And don’t forget to save the wishbone!


As always, feel free to send us pictures of your Thanksgiving dinner with your guest to be featured on our Instagram, Facebook, and blog!


Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Ojisu!