Many students anticipated their winter break to be spent with family and friends, but many international students chose to stay back in Mount Pleasant.
Selorm Adonu, a graduate student from Ghana studying mathematics, said break was very short, and it would have been too expensive to travel home.
“I Skyped with my family almost every day, visited friends and was at the (Student Activity Center) during the break,” Adonu said.
Busola Sanusi, a graduate student of mathematics from Nigeria, said she decided to rest after the long semester to avoid the stresses of traveling.
“I moved in with a family in Shepherd over the break,” Sanusi said. “I watched movies, attended a carol service and Skyped my family during the break.”
Unlike Sanusi and Adonu, Narmin Hasani had a different reason for staying in Mount Pleasant.
“I had planned with my friends to visit California and New York, but it did not work out,” the Persia freshman said. “I was not happy our plans fell through because my parents wanted me home for the break, being the only child.”
Adonu said the Christmas and New Year holidays are usually livelier in Ghana and include fireworks, bonfires and parading vans with megaphones.
“There are not many activities over here in America, and everyone stayed indoors on Christmas,” Adonu said. “In Ghana, you usually find a lot of people in the streets, and you could pop into a friend’s house without any formal invitation.”
Hasani, however, had a different stake.
“There is no Christmas break in Persia,” Hasani said. “People still go to work and school during this festive period, although some families still put up Christmas trees.”
Hasani said the New Year’s holiday came early for him.
“In Persia, the new year is not until March 20,” the freshman said. “This year in Persia is going to be 1392.”
Jiayao Yuan, a Chinese student, also said the winter break was too short and, consequently, he could not go home.
“I practiced my English, and I was in the SAC a lot of times,” Yuan said. “The SAC is a good place to kill time.”
Adonu said one thing he missed most about Ghana over break was the food.
“American meals are mostly bread,” Adonu said. “We have a lot of that in Ghana, but I wanted real food.”