After spending nine weeks burning brain cells under UCLA’s fast-paced quarter system, many students can finally return home, reunite with their families and temporarily remove themselves from the college scene during the Thanksgiving break. For international students, however, the four-day weekend is too short to plan a trip home, so most of them, we assume, will have to spend their Thanksgiving not very far from California.
With most of the housing services restricted and all of the dining halls closed, we were curious about international students’ plans for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday.
“I’m planning on exploring Los Angeles with friends. Maybe we’ll go to some famous tourist attractions such as Six Flags and Universal Studios.”
– Yining Hu, a first-year undeclared student from China
“I’m staying back to study. It’s going to be a boring Thanksgiving for me.”
– Keerthi Pradaa Balajee, a first-year business economics student from India
“I’ll go scavenging for food this Thanksgiving. I’m planning on exploring all the good restaurants nearby with some friends.”
– Kaihan Yang, a first-year business economics student from China
“Study in the library. Study in my dorm.”
DB: “Are you going to say study in the bathroom too?”
“Study outside the bathroom.”
– Junliang Shen, a first-year political science student from China
“I think I will take (a) trip with my friends to Universal Studios Hollywood.”
– Xuanhao Wu, a first-year applied mathematics student from China
“I’ve already booked a trip to Mexico City the weekend after Thanksgiving for traveling. But for Thanksgiving itself, I haven’t decided yet. My friends and I might do a road trip nearby.”
– Kathleen Uson, a second-year MBA student from the Philippines
“It depends for now. I may hang out with my high school friends from UCSD, UCLA and UC Berkeley, but we have no specific plans yet. If no one comes, I may just sleep for four days. I will be going back to my home country on Dec. 10 so it is meaningless for me to go back now. I am just not happy that the dining halls are closed, and I need to walk far to get food.”
– Evan Wang, a first-year financial actuarial mathematics student from China
“I have family here that I didn’t really know before. He is Jewish, and he wants to make a proper Thanksgiving. He immigrated from Israel 15 years ago so I’m not sure if they will do a proper Thanksgiving. Otherwise, I might try to sneak into a family of (my) friends that I’ve met here to get a proper experience.”
– Jeremy Grosman, a visiting graduate researcher from Belgium
As a traditional U.S. holiday rarely celebrated in other countries, Thanksgiving is one of the most Americana experiences international students may have, no matter if they’re enjoying homemade turkey, touring Los Angeles or spending the day in Powell library. As for international students who don’t have any plans in mind, Thanksgiving dinner for international students hosted by Dashew Center or activities provided by Discover Los Angeles can be good choices to spend the holiday.