By Lewis Rand ’23
When an American student is asked where they are spending a school break they usually answer with their hometown. However, for international students, the answer is not always so simple. The evolving Covid-19 situation in different countries as well as the time it takes to travel to different countries can make returning home for break a challenge for some international students. As such, some students elect to spend breaks with friends and family who live in America.
During the shortest major break of the year, Thanksgiving Break, only twenty-five percent of international students returned home. Another twenty-five percent of international students stayed with friends in the United States. The remaining fifty percent either stayed with family in the US or with a different host.
Three weeks later double the number of students (fifty percent) returned home for the over two-week-long break. Around thirty-eight percent of international students spent the break with friends in the US and only twelve and a half percent of students spent the break with family in the US. As Winter Break is the longest break of the year it makes sense that double the amount of international students returned home as the long trips required to return take up less of the break.
For the last major break before Summer, Spring Break, an equal amount of international students (both thirty-seven and a half percent) spent the break with their families in both the US and at home. Just over twelve percent of international students also spent the break on school trips (which were to Cuba). Similar, to Winter Break, the length of Spring Break allowed students to return home and spend more time with their families.
While this data is only from sixteen respondents to a poll sent to international students and does not represent the experience of international students it gives a great insight into where international students, many of whom live thousands of miles from campus, spend their breaks.
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