Celebrating the Holidays With Your International Student
Enjoy the Holidays Together!
This time of year may be harder for some than others; and keeping in mind that this is probably the first holiday season that your student has spent away from home; it can be a challenging season for sure. Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently, especially depending on their religious background or family make-up so finding ways to stay connected and celebrate in your own unique manner is especially important. Discussing yours and your host student’s family traditions is a good way to start off the holidays on the right foot. If either you or your student do not participate in holidays, then adjusting the following list accordingly may be necessary. Again, remember, this time of year is especially centered on connectivity among friends and families, so keep that in mind when creating your list.
Below are some possible ways to celebrate with your student and help them feel more connected to you and others during this holiday season:
- Educate your international student about the holiday you are celebrating. Thanksgiving, Christmas Hanukkah, even New Year’s Day. Read books or go online to research together. Discuss how the holidays you celebrate are similar or different; who knows, you may learn something new about one another.
- Put an emphasis on philanthropy. Donate food and clothing to a local church or shelter, help clean up a community, serve meals at the local homeless shelter or send packages to the military. Keeping busy will help your international student from missing home so much; not to mention doing a little good in the community always helps people feel better about their own situations.
- Allow your international student to call home during the holidays; possibly arrange for a calling card to cut down on some of the costs associated with overseas calls.
- Have a party, celebration or gift exchange with other host families and their students. Allow the students time to talk about the holidays celebrated in their countries and possibly share gifts that are traditionally given in their family and during those holidays.
- Bake cookies to share with the neighbors.
- Watch holiday movies or listen to music together.
- Take a small trip to the mountains to experience the snow, or to the beach to get away from the snow depending on your location.
- Take them shopping to purchase gifts for family and friends.
No matter what you do this holiday season, be sure to make the best of it; enjoy this time with your family and international student before they head back home.
- Grand Forks Herald: http://www.grandforksherald.com