WKU hosts international students for a Thanksgiving meal

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University faculty and students spent a portion of their holiday week preparing a mean for international students to enjoy.

This is the fifth year that the school has helped coordinate this meal for students from other countries.

Most students go home for Thanksgiving, but most international students can’t.

Thanksgiving is a holiday most countries do not celebrate, so for some of these students, this was their very first Thanksgiving holiday.

One professor, Julie Lee, organized a Thanksgiving meal for WKU international students to enjoy alongside several other student and faculty volunteers.

“I realized that no one‘s here on Thanksgiving except mostly the international students and a few athletes. They don’t have cars here. They can’t go home usually. Sometimes faculty or a friend will invite them over for Thanksgiving but a lot of times they’re stuck on campus. There’s no food on Thursday. There’s no buses on Thursday or Friday so, they’re stuck,” said Lee.

One of those volunteers, Terrence Taylor, stayed on campus for the holiday and decided to help cook.

“I like helping when it comes to culinary arts and just giving back and helping people. They’re just stuck on campus much like I am and I just want to be able to make them feel at home and make them feel not left out or anything,” said Taylor.

One student, Christian Koko is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This was his second Thanksgiving in the United States.

“The campus looks silent and nobody’s here. But at least we don’t feel alone because there are people who are caring for us, who organized something to make international students feel at home, though they are away from their home,” said Koko.

Koko said he tried some new food at the get together and enjoyed it.

“The food is really good, and it gave us an opportunity to taste and to try American food. I tried cornbread. It’s really good and sweet. We do have corn but we cook it as pasta but here we have bread. We have it as a meal, have it like a cake,” said Koko.

Lee and other volunteers began preparing the meal on Tuesday.