International and domestic students are in for a treat – pun intended. I interviewed Susan Gallman of the IUPUI Office of International Affairs about how IUPUI students can invite an international student to dine with them this Thanksgiving.
What inspired the event, “International Students for Thanksgiving?”
International students rarely have the chance to be invited into an American home. This event was created to give students a chance to learn more about American family traditions, and to experience an American home. Also, it is an opportunity for the community to learn more about our international students, and the many countries that they originate from.
When was “International Students for Thanksgiving” founded?
The first year we did this was in 2007.
How can IUPUI students become involved in this event?
Any inquiries can be sent to me at email@example.com; whether you are an international student wanting a host family, or you are an American willing to host students at your Thanksgiving meal, just email me and I will register you or answer any questions.
What do you believe is the significance of this event?
The significance of this event is cultural exchange. International students are here in the U.S. not just to earn degrees, but also to gain the experience of American living and to share their own cultures with others. American host families are able to welcome the international students into their homes, and by doing so they show American goodwill and hospitality—they are able to share American customs and also learn about other cultures. It’s a win-win situation!
What has been the response from international and domestic students?
The responses from both international students and domestic hosts are always overwhelmingly positive. The international students who sign up for this program are all very eager and excited to partake in it! They want to learn more about American home life, and they want to celebrate an authentic American holiday (with lots of good food); they are also eager to talk about their cultures to their American hosts. Likewise, the host families get to answer any questions or address any stereotypes about the U.S. and Indiana, and get to learn about other cultures—all while sharing a warm home and a yummy meal. Overall it gives both parties the opportunity to serve as diplomats for their countries, as well as a chance to make new friends.
Interested? Contact before November 16, 2012: firstname.lastname@example.org
photo courtesy of: lifechurch-stl.com