OISS seeks volunteers to host Yale students/scholars for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving members of the Yale community can make the holiday special by bringing something new to the table — specifically,  two or more of the university’s international students/scholars.

Yale’s Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) invites members of the Yale community to participate in its “Thanksgiving at Home” Community Connections program by hosting two or more international students/scholars for dinner on the holiday.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for international students, scholars, and their families to share an exclusively American holiday with a local family, and in doing so, experience the warmth and generosity of the local community,” said Molly Hampton, OISS assistant director for program and communications. “Every year students and scholars tell us how much they appreciate and enjoy being a part of a Thanksgiving celebration and learning about local traditions, and those hosting enjoy playing an active role in helping Yale’s international community feel welcome and at home.”

Steve Kenning, a member of the New Haven community, says the program has enabled him and his family to forge great friendships with international guests over the years. “We have hosted many times before, and the guests are always so interesting and thoroughly enjoyable to spend the day with,” said Kenning.

 “It is such a pleasure to host,” agrees Amy Rich, a senior associate director in Yale’s Office of Development. “The scholars are always very engaging, both in wanting to learn about Thanksgiving and in interacting with my husband and me and our other guests.”

Alison Bonds, another member of the Yale community who has participated in the program, says her family has loved the unique experience. “Just this past year two of the students we hosted brought a traditional dish from their home country and an American dish that they tried to make for the meal. It was very thoughtful!”

Hampton says OISS seeks to place as many students and scholars in the program as possible, and she asks those who have room for two or more people at their Thanksgiving table this year to fill out the OISS online host registration form by Monday, Nov. 5.

All hosts will receive the name(s) and contact information of their guest(s) after the matches have been made — no later than Friday, Nov. 16. If you have questions about becoming a host or want additional information, contact Hampton at molly.hampton@yale.edu.

“Or if you can’t host for Thanksgiving this year, but are still interested in volunteering with our international community, read more about our other Community Connections programs and get involved in other ways,” said Hampton.