On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Center for International Students and Scholars office held the CISS Thanksgiving Luncheon. The event ran from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. with many students, scholars and staff in attendance. During the event, students enjoyed the time eating food, talking with one another and telling stories about Thanksgiving day in their countries.
Participants in the event shared stories with one another, talking about how they planned to spend the breaks with family and friends and what their countries have for unique alternative traditions for Thanksgiving day.
During the event, a video explaining how Thanksgiving began in the United States was shown to students, helping them understand the origin of the national holiday.
Arthur Galinat, an associate director of the international student and scholar services, said Thanksgiving is a central holiday in the United States, providing further context for the event.
“Thanksgiving is something that people all over the United States share regardless of their religion, or where they are located, everyone is welcomed this Thanksgiving. And most UConn students leave during the Thanksgiving vacation to spend the holiday with family,” Galinat said. “But international students who are here are separated from their families and have to come up with their own event. For this reason, the event makes sure that everyone feels welcome and has a place to go during the vacation week.”
Galinat also said, for international students who have been separated from their families and friends, the Thanksgiving Luncheon event had more meaningful implications.
“I think it is very important. You have two or three years where everyone, not just in the United States and not just in the UConn but all over the world, we have been kind of separated and staying away from each other,” Galinat said. “It feels really good to have students back on campus in person, and it feels very good to have students back at CISS to celebrate Thanksgiving.”
Galinat also gave advice to international students hoping to adjust to life in the United States.
“My advice for international students is to try and experience as much about American culture and life as you can,” Galinat said. “And also every friendship you make and every opportunity you make is a chance to learn more about the United States and more about where you are.”
Galinat gave advice for domestic students as well.
“I hope everyone tries to take advantage of all of the opportunities at UConn in the United States,“ Galinat said