Four Great Ways to Spend Thanksgiving/Spring Break

Four Great Ways to Spend Thanksgiving/Spring Break

Thanksgiving is all about family (and FOOOOOOOOD, and Black Friday shopping). As international students, Thanksgiving might not be as unfamiliar as spending it without families around. Fortunately, as an IU student, Thanksgiving will never be dull no matter what you decide to do with the nice, long 9-day-break (remember most schools only have 4 days). Here are some ways Hoosiers enjoy Thanksgiving- same applies to Spring Break:


Thanksgiving in Seattle (Thanksgiving,2015)Thanksgiving in Seattle (Thanksgiving,2015)

If you can, why not? Most IU dorm are closed during thanksgiving break, which made going out on the road a desirable option. This year, I spend my Thanksgiving in Chicago and Seattle, and had some amazing time with friends. A vacation at Key West, a road trip through the state of California, or an adventure in Alaska- grab a few friends and have all the fun in the world!

Going to a Friend’s House

Thanksgiving 2013 at My Roommate’s HouseThanksgiving 2013 at My Roommate’s House

Don’t have an oven for the turkey? No worries. Your American friends at IU might invite you to their house. Another popular way for international students to spend Thanksgiving is to visit an American household. What better way is there to enjoy an authentic, traditional thanksgiving? Even if you have just entered IU as a Freshman, by the time of your first Thanksgiving in the States, it’s quite possible that you will have made at least one or two best friends, who would be happy to invite you to join their family for Thanksgiving- as my roommate has done during our Freshman year. If you do not yet have an invitation, don’t hesitate to ask politely- remember the first rule for being an international student is to step out of your comfort zone.

Actually going home

The Touristiest of Touristy Pictures During My Spring Break 2014 Family Vacation The Touristiest of Touristy Pictures During My Spring Break 2014 Family Vacation

No I’m serious, one week is not too short for a home visit. Speaking from experience, international air tickets are cheapest during the semester because of the low traffic, and for us poor students this is a great advantage to take. The cheapest tickets I’ve ever gotten for going home to China was when I went back during Spring Break. I paid $800 for a round trip ticket, when on average my purchase prices is around $1200. You might think that one week is too short for family time. If college is your first time away from home, it’s quite understandable that you need a longer time with family. However, after several years abroad(3 years, in my case), you might find a long family vacation quite unproductive- your parents have to go to work, very few of your high school friends are around during the time you are home, and the small disagreements between you and your parents accumulate, and burst out into quarrels. The magic trick to having a great time with family is not to spend every minute with them, but to make your time together memorable. With a carefully planned scheduled, you can easily squeeze a short family trip, several family gatherings, many homemade meals, a movie, shopping, and numerous meaningful talks in one week. One week is long enough to remind me of what a great fortune it is to have a healthy and appy family, and short enough to make me chresh every minute with my family virtually or physically. FYI: Don’t forget to renew the travel signature on your i-20 prior to your departure!

Doing all the Things You Didn’t Have Time to Do

Made a Delicious Meal (Spring Break, 2015)Made a Delicious Meal (Spring Break, 2015)

It finally happened that one year I was too broke to go anywhere for Spring Break. So I stayed in my B-town apartment and did all the things I didn’t have time to do- reading, cooking, checking out new things around town, and actually using the libriary (becasue I was never able to get a seat). It wasn’t lame. It wasn’t boring (to my surprise). In fact, a relaxing spring break at home is a nice recharge for the rest of the semester. With a busy schedule, I often find it hard to catch up with all ends, and that spring break at home helped me catch a breath. Seeing other people’s awesome Spring Break pictures at the beach of a beautiful foreign country doesn’t make my Spring Break at home any worse than theirs. In the end, the point of a break is to reacharge, and be ready to go again.

I hope by now you have found some inspiration for how to spead your two major breaks during the semester. Too hard to choose? Just remember, there are a million ways to have a good time, and you only need one for an awesome break.

Evelyn Bai
Evelyn Bai

International Student Ambassador

I'm a Junior studying Psychology and Economics at IU, and pursuing a certificate with the Liberal Arts and Management Program(LAMP). Born and raised in Shenyang, China, I am a proud International Student Ambassador(ISA), who works to connect prospective international students to IU. I chose IU because of its strong social sciences programs, and because of the myriad of opportunities it offers to all its students. Besides working as an ISA, I serve on LAMP's student Advisory Board, The Virtu Project (an investment club that benefits a charity), and work as a peer Financial Educator with IU MoneySmarts (an organization that works to enhance students' financial wellness by offering personal finance education). In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, traveling, exploring Bloomington, and throwing frisbee.

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