Decorations and string lights are everywhere, reminding us that it is the merriest time of the year again. Celebrating the holidays is a great way to share your traditions with your international student, and help them feel like part of the family. Want to spend some quality-time with your international students? Here are a few suggestions:
With all the sales going on, it is a great time for the international students to do some shopping, for themselves, for their friends and family (you) in the United States, as well as for their families in their hometowns. For many of the major brands or electronics, prices are a lot lower in the U.S. than in China, South Korea, Vietnam and other countries your international student comes from. If you have a day or half to spare and the weather is wonderful, take your international student to a mall! It’s a great way for the students to de-stress and reward themselves after a semester of study.
Preparing a meal together is interactive and fun. The collaboration during food preparation encourages host families and international students to engage in the same project, discuss, and work together on it. Not to mention that this process is usually accompanied with a kitchen overflowing to fragrance and followed by a hearty meal to enjoy! Here is a simple rice dish you can try, and a simple dumpling recipe!
One way of experiencing holiday spirits is to get involved. What can be more delightful than decorating the house with pretty lights and shiny ornaments? It takes time and effort to pick a Christmas tree, choose the right colors of lighting that match the layouts in the house, and find the right ornaments that everybody in the family loves. The result, however, is quite rewarding. Enjoy the moment of joy with your international students when the house got lit up by those colorful lights you put up together.
A Traditional East-Asian Meal
Some international students are not visiting his/her family in this winter holiday; thus, the holiday seasons might be a time when they miss their families back in their hometown the most, as a lot of their friends are going home and it’s getting close to the Chinese New Year. If you’d like, why not surprise your international student by taking him/her out for a traditional Chinese meal? Search for the traditional cuisines of your international student’s region in your area – there are probably a lot more Chinese restaurants than you thought!
Welcome Them into Your Family Tradition
What is your family tradition for the holidays? Is there an old movie that you all watch together every year? Do you have ugly sweater competitions? No matter it’s a game-night, a weekend get-away, or a white elephant gift exchange, please invite your international student to be a new addition to your family traditions. This is a perfect opportunity to spend quality-time with your international student and bond. Conversely, ask your student whether they celebrate DōngZhì, on December 21 this year, and see if they have any special traditions!
Last but not the least, please don’t forget to send us pictures and videos of you and your international students to share your fun memories with us! You can bring home a great prize from us if you’re one of our winners at the holiday photo contest.