Troy’s Chi Alpha Campus Ministry offered several opportunities for international students to experience traditional American culture and holiday celebrations.
A Thanksgiving potluck dinner featuring homemade dishes, provided by Chi Alpha staff and students, was held in the Hawkins Adams Long Hall of Honor building on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
“We got to connect people and make friendships and share stories,” said Liz Nowling, a junior anthropology major from Ashford who served on the decorating committee for the international Thanksgiving potluck.
There were over 50 students in attendance who ate fried turkey, baked turkey and ham, casseroles, vegetables, desserts and more.
Richard Skinner, a Chi Alpha staff member who leads Chi Alpha international (XAi) said he wanted to provide an opportunity for students to come together before finals.
“We wanted our guys and girls to have a time where they could relax and come and eat and to be thankful for the chance that we have to be here at school and the friendships that we have,” Skinner said.
American students invited international students to the event to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“They (international students) were able to try traditional Thanksgiving food other than what the dining hall offers,” Nowling said. “It was great to help people of other cultures experience our culture.”
International students from around the world came to the dinner.
“We had students from China, Taiwan, as well as other places throughout the world,” Skinner said. “We had a good diverse group at the event, and everyone seemed to have a good time.”
Kai Ting Hu, a junior applied English major from Taichung, Taiwan, attended the event and said that she loved it and thought that it was thoughtful and warm to hold a Thanksgiving dinner.
After eating, students could participate in a Thanksgiving-themed trivia game created by Jessica Nam, a sophomore nursing major from Montgomery.
“Everyone was laughing, and I was really surprised that a group of college students would be into a game of trivia,” Nam said.
The winner of the trivia game won a Chi Alpha T-shirt as the prize.
“It was a time of fellowship with each other, and I think the prize for the winner added a little extra incentive,” Nam said.
XAi also took a group of international students to the National Peanut Festival in Dothan on Saturday, Nov. 12, to experience carnival rides, the car derby and different types of food as part of their fall events.
“We took a field trip to the National Peanut Festival, and we took some students and international friends from Troy to let them experience the festival,” Nowling said.
Nowling said that the fall events Chi Alpha held for students were a great way to build relationships, and she hopes to further those relationships through a small group for international students she will be leading in spring semester.
“It’s great to see them (international students) get experience and make friendships that we can build off of and that they can have those lasting relationships throughout their time here at Troy and hopefully in the future,” Nowling said.