One of the best parts of being an international student is getting to experience another culture, while bringing your own cultural identity to a new country. The University of Windsor (UoW), bearing this in mind, wants their international students to experience a traditional Canadian Christmas.
Every year, the International Student Centre at the university runs a ‘Host for the Holidays‘ program. Approximately 17 percent of the university’s student body is made up of international students, from more than 100 countries. Naturally, not all of these students are able to travel home over the semester break.
Faculty, staff, Canadian students and local residents will spend Christmas Eve (December 24), Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26) volunteering to host the students. International students who intend to spend the break on campus will be welcomed into the homes of the kind volunteers.
As the semester draws to a close, students all over the world are busying themselves to go home for the holidays. But for some students, the air fares are too costly or other factors prevent them from traveling home. For those who have to stay on campus, the first semester break can be a lonely endeavor.
UoW claims programs such as Host for the Holidays allow students to meet new people and integrate into their country. It also helps prevent loneliness during this time of year.
The students can experience a family Christmas. This can provide comfort for those away from their loved ones over the holidays, or allow students who don’t celebrate Christmas to experience Canadian culture.
The university is hoping to match volunteers with keen international students before this Friday.
And similar projects are happening in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Host an international student and allow them to experience home life with a home family this Christmas https://t.co/RquKFBpycY
— Nicola McCall MCIPD (@Livelifenowexpt) November 4, 2017
If you are an international student who is going to be away from home this Christmas, have a look at whether your university or a local city organization is running a similar program.
Whether you celebrate the holiday season or not, there is much to be said about the magic of goodwill during the festive period. You could experience a Christmas like never before.