An International Thanksgiving

November 21, 2023 Charis Ochu

Thanksgiving is a heartwarming celebration that wraps us in the cozy embrace of gratitude. People go home to their loved ones to share laughter, pies, turkey, and more.

This time can be very lonely for International Students who are far away from home. However, to avoid this, the International Students Fellowship (ISF) at Hardin-Simmons University puts events together to create this warm feeling among the students despite being so far away from home. This year, the club will be hosting a Thanksgiving potluck party.

Students who did not grow up with the tradition of Thanksgiving give their thoughts on the holiday:

A globe with Brazil highlighted.

Brazil highlighted

Anne Rangel, a junior biochemistry/molecular biology major from Brazil, said, 

“Thanksgiving is not a big holiday in my home country, so I only started celebrating it once I got here. However, it did not take a long time for me to create some good memories. I made some amazing friends who invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them, which made me appreciate the holiday even more. The food is definitely very different from what I am used to, but I learned to enjoy cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole. Thanksgiving is such a sweet time to reflect on all the things I am thankful for and everything that God has done in my life.”


A globe with Zimbabwe highlighted.

Zimbabwe highlighted

Nicole Travers, a sophomore computer science and mathematics major from Zimbabwe, said,

“Thanksgiving is only celebrated on a specific Sunday back home. We set this day aside to acknowledge how we have managed to reach the end of the year safe and protected. We celebrate with lots of food, although the dishes are way different from the Thanksgiving food here.”


A globe with Nigeria highlighted.

Nigeria highlighted

Shalom Ochu, a sophomore psychology major from Nigeria, said,

“Back in Nigeria, Thanksgiving is not celebrated, so I have not experienced a bunch of the festivities associated with the holiday. However, I met a Nigerian family living here and was invited to celebrate with them. The food was very familiar to me, which made me happy. Thanksgiving is an opportunity for me to be thankful for all I have been blessed with and the amazing friendships I share with people around me.”


A globe with Ukraine highlighted.

Ukraine highlighted

Nina Tarasovets, a sophomore business administration major from Ukraine, said,

“Thanksgiving is a great time for everyone, especially for international students. There is so much to be thankful for. I am very thankful for the opportunity to chase my dreams and figure out my future with the help of supportive people around me.”