For many students at CU Boulder winter break means home-cooked meals, time with family and all the comforts of home, no matter where in the country home is. But for some students, the holidays will be spent in Boulder, without family.
Some international students who are unable to afford to go to their native countries remain in Boulder over the vacation.
“It’s very expensive,” said Xiaoge Zeng, a graduate student in the physics department.
While the campus may seem bare to some international students, there are student groups that cater to this specific demographic and provide social activities for their members, Zeng said.
He said students in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association hope to have some activities, such as potluck dinners, planned for the break.
“Ninety five percent of students [in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association] don’t go home,” Zeng said. “It just costs too much.”
Most student groups focus on celebrating the largest festivals of their own backgrounds, rather than Christmas, or the holidays that occur during winter break. Zeng said his international student organization focuses on celebrating the Chinese New Year that comes after the winter break.
While many students are unable to go home, the Office of International Education at CU does see a number of students that come through their office every year in preparation to go home for the break, said Tina Tan, the director of the International Student and Scholar Services.
Tan said international students who intend to go home for the break have to sign immigration documents through the office before leaving.
Kazuya Yoshitani, a junior international student from Japan who is currently studying English at CU, plans to travel within the US during the break.
Yoshitani said he looks forward to traveling to Seattle and New York with his friends, but still thinks about his family during the holiday season.
“I miss my Japanese friends and Japanese food,” Yoshitani said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sushupta Srinidhi at Sushupta.email@example.com.