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6 Unique Ways to Celebrate Christmas While Studying Abroad

Posted on Dec 06, 2017

For an Indian student in foreign shores, Christmas holidays in a new country can be not just an exhilarating experience, but also a great occasion to enjoy new holiday traditions. Christmas in US, UK, Canada, Australia or Singapore is unlike the Christmas back home. As an international student you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in foreign culture. You get to learn more about the country’s history, the ethnic makeup, and the social outlook. Not just that, you have the opportunity to learn something about your new friends and their families.

If you are an Indian studying abroad, here are 6 ideas to make your Christmas special:

1. Discover How the Locals Celebrate Christmas

Christmas traditions are largely similar in different parts of the world. Just like in India, you will find many families celebrating Christmas with a traditional Christmas dinner with family and friends. In Catholic households, many will attend the Christmas Eve mass, but that is not necessarily true for every family.

People decorate their Christmas tree and homes. Be prepared to be dazzled by the sparkling lights, the decorations, and the festivity all around town. Santa Claus is still a favorite Christmas icon and a popular figure that you can see in malls and shopping arcades.

“If you want to immerse yourself in local environment, take a road trip to the best parts of the country and enjoy the experience.”

2. Celebrate with People from Your Home Country

In most cases, you will find others from your own country in the same university. Christmas is the perfect occasion to bond with other Indians. You can learn and share your experiences and struggles. Often there is a lot of new learning and discovery that takes place during such interactions. This is also a great way to beat the homesickness, if you are missing folks back home.

3. Celebrate Christmas with Other Students

Your classmates are your new family. Should you not celebrate Christmas with your new family? Remember that there are lots of other students, who, like you, are probably going to stay at the university. Many international students stay on campus over the winter break. This is the perfect time to bond with your friends and have some Christmas fun.

4. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or shelter

Feeling lonely? When you visit a shelter for the homeless or the destitute, you will feel the pain of hundreds of homeless on Christmas. So how about spending your holiday with the unfortunate souls and giving back to society?

You can offer to volunteer at a soup kitchen. The satisfaction of receiving a word of appreciation from a homeless can make it worth the hard work.

5. Take a Christmas Trip

If your study schedule has not afforded you the luxury to explore your new country, Christmas is the perfect excuse to get away. During Christmas you will find many deals to visit theme parks, beaches, and other getaways. If you want to immerse yourself in local environment, take a road trip to the best parts of the country and enjoy the experience.

6. Join a Family for Christmas

Your friends at school who are going back home for Christmas may be happy to have you over. If you are invited, take this opportunity to spend some time with a local family and learn your host’s culture. Your host will be flattered that you want to learn more about their tradition. Be gracious and participate in their traditions. Never fail to show your appreciation or express your gratitude. It is ok if you commit a folly for lack of awareness. But it is always a good idea to read up a bit on these traditions before you go. You can ask if you can bring along a present, a dessert or wine. It is usually customary for guests to carry along a gift for the host.

Christmas is a time of sharing and giving. Learn more about other cultures when you are studying abroad, as this will help to shape your personality and outlook towards other people. This cultural experience will help you develop a broader outlook with a global vision.

Posted in Study Abroad

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