Students are looking forward to the idea of being home and spending the holidays with family as the fall semester comes to an end. Although, for many international students, it was not as easy for them to make the travel home due to distance.
China freshman Xin He was one of many students who stayed on campus over Thanksgiving break.
“I don’t get to go home for (Thanksgiving) break, but, in December, I get to finally be with my family in China,” He said.
Even though He stayed on campus over Thanksgiving break, there was still company surrounding her. With a majority of students leaving for break, most of campus is closed down, except Herrig, which is designated for the international students.
“There is a wide variety of students that stay here over break,” Herrig Residence Hall Director John Johnstin said. “Most of the students get together individually, but there is not anything formally put together.”
While on-campus students had a place to call home over the holiday breaks, there are still off-campus students who feel lonely. Thailand graduate student Terri Eamsuk was by herself in her apartment.
“I can’t afford a plane ticket and (wasn’t) able to go home for Thanksgiving or winter break. It’s hard because I have not been home since last August, and most of my roommates (left),” Eamsuk said. “I really miss my family, but I know I will be able to see them soon enough.”
Eamsuk has started to come to terms with staying at CMU, but technology has made it easier.
“The Internet has been very helpful. Skype and FaceTime keeps me in contact with my family and makes it feel like home,” Eamsuk said. “While I am here, I will be able to catch up on reading, TV shows and shopping. I will just have a little break to myself.”
Office of International Affairs Director Tracy Nakajima said the international students make the best of their situation.
“It’s always great to hear from the international students about their holiday activities. It could be a traditional meal with an American family, traveling around the United States or even shopping on Black Friday. Even students who remain on campus try to stay involved during their Thanksgiving break,” Nakajima said.