Here's How US International Students Celebrate Thanksgiving Abroad

3 years ago



Thanksgiving is indeed one of the most exciting holidays in the US. However, not all the American students can celebrate Thanksgiving. For instance, many international students from all over the US usually don’t have an opportunity to celebrate this national holiday. So how do international students celebrate this genuinely American holiday abroad? The Typical Student team collected 5 stories told by US international students celebrating Thanksgiving all over the world.

Thanksgiving in France  


(Photo by Alli Crew)

American international students in France didn’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate their national holiday and decided to arrange a Thanksgiving feast, even though they were miles away from the US. IES students went out to a fancy French  restaurant with their friends. According to the Thanksgiving tradition, they went around the table a couple of times saying the best things that happened to them during the outgoing year and expressed their hopes for the upcoming one. After a lovely dinner, the students went to a bar, where they watched American football and listened to French music.

Thanksgiving with family in Amsterdam 


(Photo by Emily Nazario)

Emily Nazario, an American student from Amsterdam was really surprised when her parents decided to visit her and celebrate Thanksgiving together. Emily said that she enjoyed spending the whole week with her parents and showing them the city. Moreover, Emily said that the time she spent with her family in Amsterdam was the very thing she was thankful for.

Thanksgiving in Siena 

Another American international student Taylor expected Thanksgiving abroad to be really depressive and full of homesickness. However, it turned out to be quite a lovely holiday for her.  All the American students from the college in Siena came up with a great idea to make a Thanksgiving feast in one of the apartments. Taylor says that they spent a great evening together and she certainly felt like home. She also adds that such an alternative to Thanksgiving definitely saved her from homesickness.

Thanksgiving in Germany 

Nathan Outlan as well didn’t even think that a proper Thanksgiving abroad is possible. However, everything turned out to be great for Nathan. After a week of exciting traveling around Copenhagen Nathan returned to his campus in Germany, where IES Abroad program sponsored the festive dinner for all the American students. According to Nathan it was a great Thanksgiving indeed, they were singing songs, playing the piano, and just having fun.

how-international-students-celebrate-thanksgiving-01(Photo by Nathan Outlan)

Thanksgiving in Rome

Thanksgiving is Naomi’s favorite holiday. She says that she always liked watching the Macy’s Day Parade and cooking with her family. However, the year Naomi went to a university in Rome her Thanksgiving was of course different. Even though she knew that this Thanksgiving was going to be a difficult one for her because she was far away from her family, Naomi still tried to celebrate this holiday. Naomi’s Thanksgiving wasn’t great, because she was sick and had dinner in a restaurant on her own. At the same time she started to appreciate this marvelous opportunity to spend a semester abroad she was given and on that Thanksgiving she finally realized how much she has to be thankful for.


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