Holidays as an International Student

Once you realize you have gotten to your dream city as a student, it’s a reason to celebrate! However, one of the common challenges international students face is not spending the holidays with our loved ones. Here’s a few steps on how to handle homesickness:

  1. Try to become more familiar with the local culture. Consider your time in BC a chance to do something new and learn more about the holidays here. For instance, Christmas is common in BC, and even if you don’t usually celebrate it back in your home country, it’s always nice to enjoy the magical atmosphere and watch classic holiday movies.
  2. Celebrate with the people around you. Most likely, by the time the holiday season begins, you will already have met your classmates and roommates. One of the best ways of bonding and escaping loneliness is celebrating the holidays together! It not only helps to start the new year but also allows you to learn more about cultures and become more open-minded. I like to organize a Christmas dinner with other international students in my dorm, where everyone makes the food, they usually eat at home.
  3. Teach your culture to your friends. BC is home to hundreds of different ethnicities with unique customs and religions. Thanks to this, various cultural fests happen here on specific foreign holidays. People teach each other about their home traditions, national cuisine, and beliefs. So why don’t we do the same? If you are far from home, you can always celebrate traditional holidays with your friends and tell them more about your origins. In my first year in BC, I prepared traditional food and music for roommates for Nauryz, Kazakh’s new year.

These are just some activities that help me handle being far from family on holidays and focus on the positive side of being away from family and friends.