International Students Prepare for Thanksgiving Break

Now that it’s November, people are planning their travel arrangements for Thanksgiving break.

With the leaves changing colors and the temperatures decreasing, students are excited for a break in the fall semester.

“I’ve heard so many people in my dorm talking about Thanksgiving and telling the stories that they’re excited to go back home,” said Rohan Agrawal said.

For international students, the Thanksgiving break may include different plans.  Instead of going home for a week, students make different arrangements for lodging.

“My dorm does not give Thanksgiving housing, so I’ll have to move, probably to a hotel,” Agrawal said.  “But I’m planning to live at my friend’s apartment.”

Agrawal is a freshman computer science major from central India, and he said he wanted to come to the University of Mississippi for the research opportunities.  With the semester winding down, he has been preparing for the break.

Although campus closes during the week-long Thanksgiving break, the Department of Student Housing has accommodations in place for international students.  They place students in contemporary residence halls.

“We have our international student living group. That is a group of students who live together, in Residence Hall 3, and that actually stays open during the breaks,” said Jennifer McClure, assistant director of marketing for the Department of Student Housing.

Student Housing offers alternative lodging for international students who live in traditional residence halls, which close during holiday breaks.

“We offer housing for them at a local hotel, and it is billed right to their bursar. It’s convenient because we have connections with a lot of the hotels in Oxford,” McClure said.

Despite these arrangements, many international students take advantage of their time in the United States and travel around the state, region and country during the holiday breaks.

“I’m going with a couple of my Indian friends to an American friend of mine’s place. She lives down in Mississippi,” Agrawal said.

Agrawal said he is a vegetarian, so the traditional southern Thanksgiving dishes may be a challenge for him.

“I just want to experience it for myself, and then I can determine if I do or do not like it,” Agrawal said.

The full holiday experience is incomplete without the post-Thanksgiving extravaganzas, and Agrawal is ready to shop.

“I’m really excited about Black Friday shopping and Cyber Monday. I’ve heard people talking about it,” Agrawal said.

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