International students experience the American Thanksgiving holiday

Tay Simmons, Staff Writer

For some students at Vincennes University, home is overseas. They don’t have the luxury of going home every weekend, and therefore can’t celebrate holidays with their families. On Tuesday, Nov. 20, students at VU had an international Thanksgiving dinner. The event was held to give international students a glimpse of how Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. There was a lot of food, drinks and students from different countries in attendance. There were about 20 people overall in attendance, all gathered around to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Dr. Ji, director of international affairs and one of the main organizers of the event, was in attendance and was quite pleased with the overall success of the event.

“The Thanksgiving gathering was designed by the VU international office and it is one of the signature programs for VU international students,” said Dr. Ji. “The purpose of this event is to engage international students [and help them] gain cultural experiences.”

Ha Nguyen, a culinary arts major from Vietnam, was one of the students that attended the event.

“The event was a good opportunity for international students to learn about Thanksgiving,” said Nguyen.

Some of the food featured at the event included turkey, shrimp, salad, mashed potatoes, chicken and noodles, pumpkin pie and more. Victoria Chung, an ESL major from Hong Kong, said she was glad that she got to experience the tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The event was so good,” said Chung. “I got to know so much about Thanksgiving. It helped me know more about it and it was a great experience.”

Dwayne Sun, an ESL major from China, also gained some knowledge on Thanksgiving.

“I learned all about the Thanksgiving day,” said Sun. “There is a big celebration and I ate Thanksgiving dinner. The pumpkin pie was good.”

For some students, it was the first time that they had experienced a holiday like Thanksgiving.

My Vu, an ESL major from Vietnam, was happy with the food that was served, as well as the overall event. This was her first time participating in an event like Thanksgiving.

“The event was so good,” said Vu. “I can know more about the Thanksgiving holiday, traditional foods and activities. I got to try out many delicious foods. It was the first time in my life that I got to join a Thanksgiving dinner.”

Roxanne Wong, a business administration major from Hong Kong, was also a first time participant of a Thanksgiving dinner.

“I don’t have any experience with Thanksgiving,” said Wong. “This is a good opportunity to know what Thanksgiving is like, it helped me understand what it’s like [in America] and what they do.”

For Dr. Ji, events such as these for international students are essential for VU.

“I always collaborate with our international club leaders to discuss future events. Student engagement is key for our programs,” said Dr. Ji. “This Thanksgiving event and other events hosted by the international office can be considered successful events.”