Share Your Table: Thanksgiving

For the ninth consecutive year, the IO will connect international students, scholars and their families with local families to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with local families.

***Students/scholars: Interested in attending a Thanksgiving dinner?  Register here (REQUIRED) by 11/15!***

Interested in hosting?  Please complete this form!

Student Resources/Frequently Asked Questions

Host Resources/Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Email Stephanie!

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Highlights from Thanksgiving 2016:

280 international students, scholars and their families attended dinners in the homes of 85 host families in Evanston and Chicago.  Everyone enjoyed cultural exchange, delicious food and friendship!

Photos from Thanksgiving 2016

Photos from Thanksgiving 2015

Photos from Thanksgiving 2014

Students said:

  • “The dinner table had some truly amazing people and the discussions ranged from serious topics like global economy to very casual ones such as changing cuisine trends and preferences. I really enjoyed all the discussions and it was the highlight of the dinner.”
  • “I feel very touched for the happy moments I've shared with my host family. The past three months I was facing the toughest time in my life: living in a total new place, my English is limited and the study is so hard. Every holiday left an emptiness in my life, where I miss my family in China so much. In the Thanksgiving dinner, I was lucky to share warm, cozy and happy family time with my host. I strongly sensed how life could be completed with love for family and friends. That means a lot to me now."
  • “I really had a wonderful time on Thanksgiving. My birthday was the same day. I didn't tell  my host family until I arrived their beautiful house, my fault haha, but they tried their best to celebrate for me. They found a pie as a cake and fireworks as a candle. All of them were so cute. All the family members sang Happy Birthday song for me. I really appreciated what they did.”

  • “My experience with the host family was fantastic. They reached out to us when we got paired to them. Before the day of the dinner, as there was a forecast of rain, the host family was kind enough to send out a mail to us asking whether we would like transportation. The family was very welcoming and considerate of my eating restrictions as well. I had a splendid time and I look forward to this program again next year.”

Hosts said:

  • “We had three students from China.  One item that popped up.... instantly showed the vast differences between our countries however small.....none of the three students had ever seen a fireplace!  We have two and they instantly "warmed to them""
  • “Everyone was very polite and kind.  We had some interesting discussions.  Our Iranian student wanted to try carving the turkey!  Wish we had remembered to take pictures."
  • “It was a great pleasure all the way around to host these bright, engaging Northwestern students with so many different backgrounds. We especially appreciated their including our high school-aged daughter in the conversation.”
  • “I just thought this was a wonderful experience. We hosted two students who were both lovely individuals. They had not met each other before either -- one was a freshman and one was a grad student, so they made a campus connection too. Sharing the traditions of this very American holiday with people who had little or no exposure to it before was really fun, and they were very open and receptive to the experience. I have nothing but good things to say about it, and we hope to host students again in the future when we are in town.”

  • “My wife and I had a wonderful time hosting international guests. We met people from places we have no experience with ourselves and relished the opportunity to share with them our Thanksgiving traditions. We had lots of great conversations and will happily host in the future... overall it was a wonderful experience that we would readily participate in again.”