Happy Thanksgiving! 

Before you start the Thanksgiving festivities, take the time to educate your international students about the history of the holiday. Share the story of the Pilgrims, and the Native Americans, and the significance of giving thanks. This will help your student understand the cultural and historical context of the celebration. In this conversation, remember to be objective and think about how they must feel being in a different country celebrating a holiday they may have never been a part of.

1. Be Inclusive & Explain History Behind Traditions

Remember that your international student may not be familiar with all the Thanksgiving customs and traditions. Be patient and inclusive, explaining the significance of each part of the celebration and making them feel welcome.

2. Include Their Traditions

International students come from diverse backgrounds and may have their own traditions and holidays. Be open to learning about their culture and incorporating some of their customs into your Thanksgiving celebration. This can create a more inclusive and meaningful experience for everyone.

3. Focus on Gratitude

Encourage your international student to participate in the tradition of giving thanks. Have everyone at the table share what they are thankful for, and allow your student to express their gratitude. This can be a deeply moving and unifying experience.

4. Cook Together

Involving them in the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal can be a fun and educational way to bond with your international student. You can even incorporate dishes from their culture into the menu, creating a fusion of flavors that celebrates diversity. Food is a universal language, and sharing recipes from your culture and learning about your student’s favorite dishes can be a delightful way to bond.

5. Local Events

Many communities host Thanksgiving events and parades. Take your international student to one of these events to experience the holiday festivities in a more public setting. It’s a great way for them to witness the sense of unity and gratitude that Thanksgiving embodies.

7. Encourage Questions

Let your international student ask questions about Thanksgiving and American culture. This will foster understanding and create an environment where they feel comfortable exploring and learning about the traditions.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with an international student can be an enriching experience for both you and your guest. By sharing the history and traditions, being mindful of controversies, and embracing cultural diversity, you can create a Thanksgiving celebration that truly embodies the spirit of gratitude and togetherness.