Global Thanksgiving

Maryville College international students get taste of Thanksgiving traditions

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Maryville College students from across the world learned about Thanksgiving traditions, talked about similar customs from
their homes and enjoyed delicious food during a potluck supper Saturday, Nov. 18 at First Christian Church.

Global Connections hosted its 5th annual potluck dinner for Maryville College’s international students. The college’s International Programming Board and International House provided the turkey and drinks, while the families and students brought in the other dishes "potluck style."

The event did not have a formal program, although some background on American Thanksgiving customs were presented while students were encouraged to talk about similar customs from "back home."

Global Connections is a local organization coordinated by Bill and Ethel White that helps international students integrate into the community by finding local "friendship families."

"It’s a program designed to share cultures and development relationships," Bill White said. "We try to match local families with Maryville College international students who want a family. They get together for dinner, shopping, walking in the park, sightseeing or whatever they set up.

"Since we started the program, more than 100 students and about 50 families have been involved at one time or another. Many of the relationships continue over the miles and years after students leave the campus."

More than 90 Maryville College international students, made up of full-time international students, exchange students, and those in the CELL (Center for English Language Learning) program, and "friendship families" attended the event. The dinner was held at First Christian Church’s fellowship hall in Maryville on Court Street. Another similar potluck-style dinner is planned for Spring 2007.

Photos by Darrell Watkins

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