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Tobechukwu Nwaelugo

Thanksgiving As An International

by Tobe Nwaelugo | Nov 22, 2016

My first year on campus, I got to hear about Thanksgiving and its perks and funs. I was still trying to figure a lot of things out about the way things were celebrated in the states, so because of how unaware I was, I stayed on campus.  It wasn’t too bad, there were other internationals on campus too. We went to the Intercultural Center and made a meal for ourselves. It was fun and to me it was just a break, not that I was complaining or anything. Everybody would come back and tell me of many dishes they had over Thanksgiving, and some of the internationals that went to a Manchester faculty or staff’s house for the actual Thanksgiving Day came with their stories of the different dishes they had tried for the first time. All was well that ended well.

My second year on campus I was able to get my name on the list prepared by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and they assigned me to Tammy Barber’s house for the day. I went along with Olivia, Merykokeb, and Marian, all juniors at the time. There wasn’t a lot of people at her house as I had expected; it was about four other people apart from the four of us. We were set at the table and began the lunch. I remember thinking I have never had such an amazing bun, and it was at that dinner that I decided I liked mashed potatoes. Tammy had also prepared the Turkey and a casserole. I didn’t realise until later that those were typical Thanksgiving dinner dishes. While we all ate and enjoyed my mind kept going back to the little buns that I was so much obsessed with. She later told us not to feel shy and go for more if we wished, low and behold the opportunity had presented itself. Olivia and I stood up and dished more food (I went for the buns).

After a while we got together and played Apples to Apples. My first time playing it, but it was a really fun game and got competitive really fast. If my memory serves me right, Merykokeb took the win for that game. We later watched some American football, and then prepared to take our leave. Tammy told us to make plates for ourselves and take it back to campus with us, which we were very excited to do! With all that being said it was a great experience for my Thanksgiving dinner. We went around the table and told everyone else something we were thankful for.

This year, I’m currently a junior and I will be staying on campus for Thanksgiving, but this year I will be going to my advisor’s Thanksgiving event. Prof. Onyeji told me my sophomore year not to reserve any plans for Thanksgiving, that I will be spending it at his place, and he told a couple of other students the same thing. The event is supposedly one of elegance, and I cannot begin to express my excitement for this Thursday. Most of the international students staying on campus are going to be in attendance. I am excited to see how my Nigerian advisor spends his Thanksgiving in the years he has been in the states. With that said I am excited to see what this Thanksgiving holds. I hope everyone else is too!


Tobechukwu Nwaelugo ’18 came to Manchester University from Nigeria. Currently pursuing a Political Science major and International Studies minor, she hopes to go to Law School and work for an International Organization.