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USD Student First Thanksgiving in Vermillion

With Thanksgiving Break just around the corner for USD students many students aren’t able to travel for the holiday.  

USD has a large percentage of students who live near home, but for international students, returning home for break can present a challenge.

Many international students do not have the ability to go home over the break. Many of their friends are absent for the break, leaving some students wondering what to do over the holiday. 

Jody-Ann Tyson, a graduate international student from Jamaica, said that this time of year can be especially hard for international students.

 “This season can be a very lonely time for many international students, especially when it’s your first time being far from your family this long,” Tyson said.The good thing is that as international students, we do have a great community here in Vermillion, and it makes the holiday better for us.” 

Tyson said that this year will be her first time celebrating Thanksgiving, so she wants to spend it as traditionally as possible.

“I want to have the Thanksgiving experience the American way. This year, my thanksgiving meal will only include American dishes. Most importantly, ham, turkey and chicken will definitely be included,” Tyson said.

Tyson explained that it can be hard for international students who do not have family to spend the holiday with. Luckily, she said she has an aunt who will be in South Dakota for Thanksgiving this year.

This will also be her first Christmas away from home – an experience many international students can relate to.

“This Christmas will be the first time I will ever be celebrating Christmas without my family, so I will be in Vermillion. I will be spending the holidays with my friends here in Vermillion,” Tyson said.

Tyson said although she will be far away from home over Christmas, she will still do what she can to make the holiday feel like home.

“Myself, along with some friends, are planning to have a Christmas dinner, which will definitely include some Jamaican dishes, American dishes, African dishes and Indian dishes too,” Tyson said.

Tyson said she got the idea after thinking about not only herself but about the others spending the holidays here in Vermillion.

“I got this idea when I realized that celebrating Christmas alone can truly be depressing and lonely, and I really want to be merry during the holidays, and I want my friends to be merry too,” Tyson said.For any international students who are feeling homesick over the holidays, the international club can be contacted at [email protected].