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Thanksgiving tips for international students

While Americans across the country use Thanksgiving break to celebrate friends and family, international students often spend this time away from their loved ones.

Being away from family and friends can make this holiday stressful. With most of their friends traveling home for the break, international students must find unique ways to celebrate.

If you’re an international student, don’t lock yourself in your room and watch Netflix this year. This is a time to create bonds with the people around you. Get all your friends that are staying back, make plans and try out these tips.

First, use this opportunity to see more of America. We all know that Oklahoma is not the only state in the country, so if a friend invites you to spend the break with them elsewhere, take advantage. But make sure your family back at home knows your whereabouts.

Find a host family. If you have family or friends that live in Tulsa, don’t hesitate to join them. But don’t be rude and only show up during the holidays. Try to maintain contact so they don’t see you as a leech.

The international student center also does a great job of finding host families for students. It is voluntary, both the families and the student decide whether or not they want to be part of the program. But don’t feel obligated to do so.

Stock up. For hungry ORU students that enjoy solitude, Walmart is just across the street. Find someone to drive down there or to Morellos to get all that you need. Create your list and go shopping, and make sure it’s going to last you the whole holiday.

Go to the cinema. November is the month for good, solid action and Christmas movies. Watch a movie at any of the theatres around. You don’t need a ride from a friend for this one, try Uber or Lyft. Make sure you do some research on the movie you want to watch and the cinemas you want to go to. AMC has reclining seats, just saying.

You can also go to axs.com to find family-friendly events to go to around Tulsa with your friends in school or your host family. If the budget is not available, order pizza or gather everyone in the kitchen to cook your favorite meals and share it with others.

If none of the previous ideas sound good, study for your finals and finish all your homework. Remember your primary purpose of being here is to get the grades (the type of grades you plan on achieving is up to you.)

It is a great opportunity to study in the United States of America, and being international allows you to have the best of both worlds. Make sure to remember the good after sieving out the bad.

For those who aren’t aware of the history behind this American tradition, history.com explains it as the time “the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national “Thanksgiving Day” to be held each November.”

Don’t forget that you have a lot to be thankful for. Now, it is your turn to spend it doing your thing.