“About half of the students will stay on campus, that ranges to about 40 to 50 students,” Helen Leong, director of international student services, said.
International students can receive a meal from St. Paul’s Church on Thanksgiving Day or there are other options of how to eat during break.
“There are always students who come together to make their own meal at Dier’s house, because it is a fully functioning kitchen,” Leong said.
“Last year the students came together with Dr. Gehring and they did a Thanksgiving meal together, and she helped provide some food and the students cooked their own dishes.”
“On Thanksgiving Day there is no place for eating open on campus so the Zesty is open Friday and Saturday,” Leong said.
Ruth Tibbott, dining services checker, also hosts students at her house so they can experience what a Thanksgiving meal is like in America.
“Sometimes it is a nice day for them to sleep, but they still have to eat, and that is my objective, whether or not they celebrate Thanksgiving.
“First of all they get to see what a national holiday is for us, and they get a sense of family, gratefulness,and blessings,” Tibbott said.
Sneha Mahapatra has the opportunity to go off campus and spend time with her host family.
“Last year was my first Thanksgiving and my host mother invited me to her house and we cooked turkey, made the dressing,” Mahapatra said.
Nothizile Ncube stays on campus during the break and catches up on her sleep.
”Over the years, we didn’t have a Thanksgiving break where I came from. This has given me a time to reflect on my life and what I am thankful for which are the simple things,” Ncube said.
After Thanksgiving, Leong’s office programs a Black Friday shopping for International students to experience too.
“We leave pretty early and have one van that goes down to Waterloo. This year I pulled some students and may go to Iowa City to Coral Ridge Mall,” Leong said.