Holiday Season as an International Student

As we head into December, the holidays are fast approaching. It is officially the holiday season, a time typically spent with family and loved ones. But while this often time is for holiday traditions with family, this has usually not been the case for me. I am an international student , so going back home to unwind for the holidays has not always been an option for me. 

Experiencing holidays away from your family can be isolating and sad. The pressure to feel happy can really rain down on people who can’t afford to celebrate with their family. From my experience, I can say that the holiday season has a changed meaning and feeling to it. Adapting to this change and realising that being involved in some life-long holiday traditions might not be possible anymore is very hard. But I am here to tell you that it’s okay! We don’t always have to feel a certain way or celebrate a certain way for it to count! Here are some tips from my personal experience for the holidays: 

  • Start your own personal holiday traditions – I have realised that with my busy schedule as a student, there is rarely time for me to bake and learn new recipes. So as a holiday tradition I try to learn new baking techniques and dishes to treat my friends with! This year, my goal is to learn how to make cinnamon rolls.

  • Connect with the community around you – Friends are our chosen family and provide us with an opportunity to recreate holiday traditions with them! As most of my friends are also international students, all coming from different cultures, we like to spend the holidays creating and recreating special rituals that each of us miss around this time.

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