My Study Abroad Thanksgiving

Ryan is ready for dinner.

Ryan is ready for dinner.

I’ve never had a bad Thanksgiving dinner. The food is always amazing whether you are preparing a meal at home or spending it with family and friends somewhere else. I look forward to mashed potatoes, cornbread and of course turkey each November.  Many families have traditions in the foods they serve at dinner. Maybe grandma always makes the best sweet potatoes or Aunt Jody will definitely be showing up with her casserole recipe. When I studied abroad last fall semester I wasn’t sure what to except for Thanksgiving. It was the first time I had spent the holiday away from my family. I wondered if anyone would bother organizing a dinner. Should we just go out to eat or perhaps skip Thanksgiving this year?

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Everyone hanging out in the appartment.

Luckily my friends are awesome and all wanted us all to plan Thanksgiving together. We created a sign-up sheet and divided dishes for people to prepare. I loved how everyone in the group was excited to make something different. Eric kept talking about a stuffing recipe from home and Nicole skyped her mom for instructions on their green bean casserole dish. I emailed my own house to ask how many potatoes I would need for a group of twenty-five (I’m clueless when it comes to cooking). We went grocery shopping and weren’t sure if they would have everything we would need, but we found most of it with a few substitutions. The funniest purchase was the turkey. They had the local butcher to prepare and cook it for us. It was probably the most expensive turkey any of us ever ate, but was worth the tradition.

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A picture for Jeremy's mom.

There wasn’t a big space where we could host dinner so we met at our friend’s apartment. We fit about twenty-five people into a tiny two-bedroom apartment. Their table had four seats, so yes, it was a bit crammed. Even more crammed was the tiny kitchen. Dinner was served about three hours later than scheduled but it worked out because we were extra hungry by then. Jeremy brought over party poppers. He said they are a tradition at his house for Thanksgiving. They are paper tubes with little prizes, fortunes and a paper crown inside. We took pictures for his mom to send home.

My Thanksgiving abroad was very memorable and I’m glad I got spend it with friends. Do you have a study abroad Thanksgiving story to share?

Hannah DeMilta is a senior at Otterbein College studying Public Relations with a minor in Deaf Culture and Language (ASL). She has studied abroad in Australia and loves traveling whenever possible. She has held several internships in the PR & communications field and hopes to work in the non-profit sector one day. She also loves speaking with students interested in studying abroad, so please feel free to start a conversation:

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