Experience America: Gratitude and Thanksgiving

Beyond the delightful spread across the table during the Thanksgiving holiday and time with loved ones, this time of year calls for meaningful reflections. Taking the time to think about who and what we are grateful for provides us with a moment to pause, step back, and gently think again, and affords us a fresh perspective for a new year ahead. World Learning asked the Fall 2021 Global UGRAD cohort to share their festive Thanksgiving experiences and reflections.

Dulce Bado Closs and Siddhi Kabra posing for a photo at the Global Student Friendship Thanksgiving event

“This semester the students at Old Dominion University had the opportunity to volunteer with a special organization called GSF (Global Student Friendship). I was part of the hospitality and service team where we helped serving international and American students in Norfolk. Siddhi and I were lucky to spend an authentic American Thanksgiving dinner tonight and this is what we ate! It was an amazing opportunity for both of us to share how thankful we are to be here and to know more about this holiday in the United States! These are some photos of one of the last activities we had celebrating Thanksgiving in a big dinner all together.” – Dulce Bado, Paraguay, Old Dominion University

Dulce serving other Old Dominion University community members food during the Global Student Friendship dinner



Arthur posing for a Thanksgiving photo with the Bowling family in Tennessee.

“I’m so thankful for being placed here in Tennessee, getting to meet so many amazing people, and to spend Thanksgiving with the Bowling family in Conway, Arkansas. I ate so much food that I gained 6 pounds now. I stayed in their house and was so welcomed; we decorated their house for Christmas while watching the Thanksgiving Parade in New York on TV, played Ticket to Ride, Bonanza, and many more. We also had a bonfire every night, and on Saturday night we went to downtown Conway to see their annual Lighted Christmas Tree and we had so much fun.” Arthur Sinay, Indonesia, Tennessee Tech University







I’m thankful for the things that brought me here, and celebrated Thanksgiving day with amazing humans in the United States. We had a wonderful dinner and board game night. Especially the people I’ve met, they are so kind and open-minded to learn about our culture. We shared our culture shock experiences such as food, transportation and even toilets. All good things come to us, we are thankful for the present.
” – Bunthicha Larlarb, Thailand and Ramatou Saley Farka Dit Har
ouna, Niger, Augustana University



Aung Khant Ko from Burma enjoying Thanksgiving with friends.
Sterly Paulisca enjoying some Thanksgiving appetizers!