Students left campus last week to go home and celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends. For international students, the Thanksgiving holiday is a new experience for many. With the break being so short and the holiday being a primarily American tradition, most international students stay in Memphis.
Nina Zimmermann, an international student, initially partook in this holiday years ago when she came to America for school. “In Germany we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so it is very exciting to experience a new holiday here.”
Thanksgiving is primarily an American holiday. Only a hand full of other countries celebrate it including Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Liberia. Other countries have similar celebrations, but not in Germany.
“I love the idea of it and how it is a reason to bring all the people you love together. I wish we had a holiday like Thanksgiving in Germany,” she said.
This year Zimmermann and several other German exchange students got together with a family they met at one of the University of Memphis football games.
“Me and a few other exchange students were invited by some very sweet people we met at a football game a couple months ago. They also have relatives in Germany and were so nice to invite all of us over for Thanksgiving,” she explained. “We will be spending the day with them and their family which we are so grateful for.”
Thinking back to her first Thanksgiving, Zimmermann explained, “The last time I tried Thanksgiving food I loved the stuffing, but it has been years, so I am so excited to try everything again. I hope it’s as good as I remember. “I really enjoyed my first Thanksgiving experience in the US. The entire family came together, and it was all about being together and eating good food.”
Though only celebrating the holiday once before, her celebratory spirit encapsulates what it is all about.
“Thanksgiving is about getting the entire family together. It’s time to appreciate all you have and eat as much as you can,” she said.
After arriving in the states in August, Zimmermann expressed all she is thankful for this semester.
“This year I am especially thankful for UofM. I have really come to love it here, and I am sad I will be leaving soon. Memphis definitely has become a second home to me. I am very grateful for the sense of community here and how nice and welcoming everyone is. I will be missing UofM.”
“I am very excited to have another Thanksgiving experience here in the US and I am looking forward to spending the day with some fun people,” she said.