Holidays to Celebrate in the US as an International Student

Not only is the USA a top destination for international students wanting to study, but offers so much to the many international students who are unable to head home during the holidays. Students have the chance to explore and immerse in the US culture during the winter, spring and summer months.

If you’ve already made lots of friends, there is a high chance one of your American classmates or teammates will invite you to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving or even the fourth of July with their families. If you get the chance to join them, don’t think twice about accepting; you will definitely have a good time joining in on the family celebrations and sharing their traditions.

Christmas traditions in the USA are often not that different from what you would do at home. Americans like to prepare food and gather for the traditional Christmas dinner with family and friends. Some families will be attending church on Christmas Eve, and some will not. Americans like to decorate their Christmas tree and house. You will be amazed by the magical decorations on display in the suburbs.

Having the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time:

Feel like staying on-campus during the Thanksgiving break? Look for campus traditions at your school.  Some schools offer their own Thanksgiving celebrations for any students and faculty who opt to stay on campus, or who may not have options to travel home. These can include; art exhibits, concerts, talent shows, basketball tournaments, a benefit fun run, and other special events.

What’s Thanksgiving without a parade? The most famous, of course, is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, with over 3 million in-person spectators and upwards of 40 million television viewers. Several major cities besides New York also hold parades where you can enjoy the holiday spirit of gratitude. Check out the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Motor City has another option – check out America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, Michigan for floats, bands, music, and a glimpse at the history of the US auto industry. Also, in the Midwest is Chicago’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade and not to forget the likes of Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Texas, and Seattle, Washington offer additional possibilities for big parades. Watching a parade also gives you a chance either to travel to a new place, or to learn something new and interesting about your college town.

Celebrating Christmas with your new friends’ families:

There are endless options of things to do, especially over Christmas time. You have the option to celebrate Christmas by treating yourself to a session on at one of the US’s many ski resorts, or soak in the magic of New York City by taking pictures of the gigantic Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, or ice skating in Central Park. Or simply take the opportunity to go on any trips you’ve been wishing to make. Try doing something different and make sure you will always remember the fun you had while celebrating your first Christmas in the US.

A much-needed Spring Break after a long winter:

Spring break is a holiday period in early spring at universities and colleges. Spring break is frequently associated with extensive gatherings and celebrations in warm climate locations such as Cancun, Mexico and Daytona Beach, Florida. For college students, spring break is a time to celebrate finishing midterms and to get a much-needed break from their studies before those final exams start, for many it’s also a chance to socialize and plan trips with their friends.

Summer time as an International Student:

As an international student, it is inevitable that you will have a busy schedule during the school year, which means your travel plans would have been pushed back. However, summer is the perfect time to fulfill your travel dreams and get away from campus, travel with your friends, and a fun way to take advantage of your time off.

If you prefer not to travel during the summer break you have the option to work part time and make some extra income. Since most of the student body will be gone, many job opportunities will pop-up around campus for students to fill. This could mean working part-time at the library or at the school gym and maybe even becoming a summer tour guide for prospective students. Check around campus or your school career website and see what job is the perfect fit for your summer schedule.

One of the biggest celebrations of the summer in the United States is the Fourth of July. Americans celebrate this holiday annually as it marks the day the country gained its independence. Americans celebrate their independence with fireworks, music, and a lot of good food. Be sure to add celebrating Independence Day to your list of things to do.