(Not) Home for the Holidays: Far from their homelands, international students find creative ways to make the season bright

The year is winding down, and the holidays are in full swing. For most of us, it is a time of family and feasting, shopping and gift-giving, conviviality and controlled chaos. From the first bite of Thanksgiving turkey until the new year is rung in, we look forward to gathering with loved ones, observing long-held traditions and indulging in our favorite holiday treats.

But for Vanderbilt’s international students – especially those from far-flung places such as India, Singapore and Cameroon – how to spend the winter break is a completely different proposition. Flying home likely isn’t an option. And even if it were, for many the season doesn’t hold the same importance as their own cultural or religious high holidays that take place other times of the year.

Explore Story Topics