WKU hosts Thanksgiving dinner for international students

Published: Nov. 18, 2018 at 9:59 PM CST
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On Sunday WKU international students got the chance to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, some of them for the first time.

"We have an opportunity for our international students, the Bowling Green community, American students to come in and interact with one another, learn from one another and have this safe environment where they're bonding over food," said Wesley Anne Watkins, WKU Academic Adviser for the International Student Office.

The Office of International Programs hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for students to get acclimated to what Thanksgiving is all about.

"That is one of the great things I appreciate about the United States, they bring out one day to thank God for all he has done for the whole year, which I really appreciate because not every family in my country really makes time to do all of that," said Leticia Ofili, WKU Masters student from Nigeria.

The goal is to make sure even those who are thousands of miles away from home can feel the joy of the holiday season.

"This is a chance for us to interact with [others] and introduce ourselves and get to know them," said Mohammed Ahmed, WKU Health Administration student from India.

More than 20 countries were represented.

"Thanksgiving is this weekend, I am going to cook some of the things they have here and I am going to have that at my house with my little ones," said Ofili.

"And it gives students an opportunity to mix and mingle with people from different cultures, different countries," said Watkins, which can be a rare opportunity for many students.

"I think it's amazing for me to experience a different culture and learn more about it and I just enjoy talking to people," said Parviz Rahonalie, WKU international student.

Seven international diplomats helped host the dinner.