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Thanksgiving can be global

Photos by Evan Krape and Kathy F. Atkinson

UD international community celebrates traditional American holiday

More than 350 University of Delaware international students, scholars and their family members filled the atrium of the Embassy Suites on Sunday, Nov. 19 to celebrate the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving with OISS, a signature Office for International Students & Scholars program co-sponsored by the Retreat at Newark, is offered annually to members of the international community who are interested in learning by tasting. Before digging in to the usual American fixings, guests shared what they were most thankful for this year on paper leaves placed in the center of each table.

OISS sponsors a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Embassy Suites, November 19th, 2017.

While many wrote that they were particularly grateful for a delicious meal, some also thought of their family and friends.

Ada Josephine Anyanwu, from Nigeria, wrote, “2017 has been a really great year for me and my family. I got married this year and my husband has been here at the University of Delaware studying for some years. I was also lucky to be admitted to this school and to be together with him.” Anyanwu is a Ph.D. student in Materials Science Engineering.

While University residence halls are closed over Thanksgiving break, many international and domestic students choose to stick around campus. Those who reside on campus halls are invited to apply for special break housing with Residence Life & Housing.

OISS sponsors a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Embassy Suites, November 19th, 2017.

Others attending Sunday’s dinner shared their thanks for family, even if thousands of miles apart.

“I’m most thankful for my mom, actually,” wrote Samet Byram, a Ph.D. student in Electrical & Computer Engineering. “She has been supporting me since elementary school to where I am now. I’ll tell you she is the hero in my life because of her support.”

Several reflected on the memories they have made at UD.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity of being at UD to pursue my higher education,” wrote another student. “I am also thankful for all of the incredible friends I have made here.”

OISS sponsors a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Embassy Suites, November 19th, 2017.

Members of the OISS staff also participated in the evening’s events.

“I’m thankful for our community of international students, scholars and their families, and for how they make UD a wonderful place to live, work and learn,” said Matt Drexler, who began as OISS assistant director in September.

Maria Rusu and Jorge Ramirez, UD master’s students in music from Romania and Colombia, respectively, closed the evening with a special musical performance for the crowd.

More than 100 local families have also agreed to open their doors to members of UD’s international community on Thursday, when they will experience a real Thanksgiving while forging new friendships.

Thanksgiving with OISS and Thanksgiving with a Host Family are two of more than 100 programs offered by the Office for International Students and Scholars each year. For more details on programs for UD’s 5,000-plus international students, scholars and families, visit the OISS website and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Those with questions are encouraged to contact Matt Drexler.


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