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WKU organizes Thanksgiving dinner meal for international students

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 9:12 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Some Western Kentucky University international students were also able to partake in the holiday festivities on Thursday, with the university helping provide a meal.

“Actually this is my first Thanksgiving in the USA. I came here in July, so it’s been pretty good, actually, I was pretty excited,” says Shaharina Shoha, an international student from Bangladesh.

For many, Thanksgiving is a holiday to spend time with friends and family and gather around the table to enjoy a big meal and be grateful, but for some students on the hill that was not possible.

“It’s very must be very difficult for international students who are here, and they don’t have friends or family that they can go visit for a long weekend, and it’s very hard to be alone on a holiday. So we do the international Thanksgiving here and hope that everyone will come down and join us,” says Chef Julie Lee who helped organize the dinner.

Chef Lee says the Thanksgiving dinner is a way for the students to enjoy a good meal, and experience the holiday.

For Christian Koko of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he says “It’s, it’s it gives me an opportunity to feel integrated into America in an American community, also to feel home away from my home.”

This was Koko’s first time celebrating Thanksgiving.

“Also, it’s an opportunity for friends, for families to come together and to share the meal, it is really a special day here in America,” added Koko.

When asked what he’s thankful for, “I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for my professors, for the International Students Office, also for Julie and her team who organized this dinner for us,” said Koko.

Iyanu Ojo is from Nigeria and a student at WKU, when asked what he’s grateful for, he added “Well, I’m just thankful for everyone, we’ve been through a lot in the past two, three years. If we don’t have anything to thank God for I think we should be thankful for life.”

Chef Lee adds, “thank you for coming. I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving food, met some new friends and I hope they got a little bit of the spirit of the holiday.”

This was the fifth year of the Thanksgiving dinner for international students.

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