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International students get a taste of Thanksgiving

International+students+get+a+taste+of+Thanksgiving
Michaela Román

The Baptist Student Ministry, Office of International Programs, Office of Study Abroad, and Residence Life and around 60 volunteers hosted the third annual Thanksgiving Without Borders event so international students could celebrate the American holiday along with staff, faculty, and students accompanied by their families on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Traditional food was provided to approximately 400 people. Throughout the night, the event consisted of two back-to-back dinners, spanning from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Along with the food served, different games involving feathers and bingo were played by students and featured raffles were administered.

The BSM collaborated with volunteers from Residence Assistance, Franklin high school, UTEP’s Alpha Omega and Sigma Lambda Beta offered their help by welcoming students, serving food, and registering people for the event.

Olga Sanchez, a staff member of the study abroad division in OIP, attended the event for the first time and said she was very excited to be part of this “warming idea.”

“There was a lot of work done in the previous months. We partnered up with Housing because that is where a lot of international students live and a lot of broad students. We made flyers, we advertised the event, there was several meetings, all the food that was spot was from Luby’s and it was paid by our departments,” Sanchez said.

Last year, Thanksgiving Without Borders was hosted at the BSM building for the first time with around 280 people. This year, their goal was to double the attendance.

Around 400 registered prior to the event for a meal. Chris Smith, director of the BSM, said that there might have been more if those registered bring their friends and families.

Smith hopes that after this, international students will be able to get the experience of the traditional American Thanksgiving.

“There are some that do not celebrate that, others who don’t know what it is, so we get a little bit of a history lesson, they get the traditional food. They also have to think about what they gave thanks for and talk about that, and we have people here at the tables that actually are asking about the history of thanksgiving,” Smith said. “This is a good opportunity for them to experience America a little bit better because probably not much internationals get invited to spend it home, so we tried to offer them an opportunity like this being a home for them. “

Graduate student Shaikh Tanveer Hossain is a computational science student from Bangladesh who was celebrating for the first time his Thanksgiving dinner.

“There is a chance of meeting and mixing people and it is a very good chance of making new friends. It is a good chance for outside people to mix with local people,” Hossain said.

 

 

 

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About the Contributors
Michaela Román
Michaela Román, Editor-in-Chief
Michaela is a Senior Digital Media Production major at The University of Texas at El Paso. As the Editor-in-Chief, and former Photo Editor of The Prospector, she has learned to stay organized, manage a staff of writers and photographers, meet deadlines, cover events and network with others. She also has freelance experience and a personal photography business. Michaela aspires to work as an editor for a large media outlet and one day go to graduate school to teach photojournalism.
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    Lance JohnsonNov 29, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Congrats to all who participated because being an international student isn’t easy, given our complex culture and language. Assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey, including friendship on our lonely holidays. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.
    One such new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that reaches out to help anyone coming to the US is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It is used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors. It also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they’ve contributed to our society, including students.
    A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a confusing new culture, friendship process and daunting classroom differences. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all wherever you study!

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International students get a taste of Thanksgiving