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6 Ways to Celebrate Christmas As An International Student

18 Dec 2018
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While most students are looking forward to presents under the tree and vegging on the sofa for a Harry Potter movie marathon, the Christmas period can be a daunting prospect if you’re an international student who can’t make it home to see the family. You’ll just have to miss out on the festive fun – or will you?

Thankfully, celebrating Christmas solo doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We’ve come up with five ways to help you cope with the season when you’re away from home and to make the festive season merry and bright!

 

1. Experience Christmas as a local

Spending Christmas in the UK means you can get an authentic taste of how different cultures celebrate it – and isn’t that everything you want from studying abroad?

Enjoying someone else’s family Christmas can be a great experience for those who are from a different cultural and religious background. So if you have a friend who invites you to their home for the holidays, you should most definitely take them up on their offer!

 

 

2. Meet someone else who’s in the same boat

The thought of being stuck on your own over the festive season got you down? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Seek out other students in your community who are also spending their Christmasses away from their families, group together and celebrate the festive period with them.

Did you know that Christmas Day is actually the ideal time to eat at ethnic restaurants and sample some foreign cuisines? Not only will you be surrounded by people, you may even be able to soak up some Christmas cheer from other merry souls as well. So rebel against traditional turkey and opt for a Turkish-style Christmas dinner instead.

 

3. Look out for activities or events on campus

Many universities make sure that those who remain on campus over the Christmas holiday – often international students – are looked after and entertained. Don’t hesitate to speak to the student support team on campus if you’re feeling worried or anxious about the holidays, they’ll be able to find activities or events to help you keep focused and stay busy.

 

 

4. Plan to phone home

It’s normal to feel a little homesick on Christmas Day, especially when everyone else around you is busy celebrating with their families. Luckily for you, modern technology has shortened the distance between people – yes, even if they’re on the other side of the world.

Talking to friends and family back home can help you get over that longing for home. Planning a phone call or an online chat across time zones can be difficult on any given day, but you’ll be free to take calls at any time on Christmas Day. So plan ahead and decide on a time that’s good to Facetime with your friends and family, wherever they are.

 

5. Enjoy the freedom

Don’t think of spending Christmas alone as a challenge, take it as an opportunity to have alone time to yourself.

It may feel strange to wake up on 25 December without any pressing reason to get out of bed or any other usual interruptions; no snooze buttons, no cold calls, no junk mail in the post, no group WhatsApp notifications, nothing to distract your attention from anything. Want to snuggle up in your new jammies and binge-watch Netflix all day? You can.

 

6. Experience the city like never before

Did you know that most Brits don’t really leave the house on Christmas Day? They may travel to friends’ or relatives’ houses, or they may venture outside for a pre-dinner walk, but life as you know it on the streets of the UK stops.

London in particular has a particularly eerie feel – with the shop and the attractions mostly closed, and with most Brits themselves sat watching Christmas telly and eating mince pies like crisps. The city is often completely deserted, especially early in the morning. Splash out and treat yourself to a day in the city to experience it without the masses.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

If you’re celebrating Christmas with us, make sure you check out these cool things you can do in Cardiff!