Indiana Daily Student

International students stay on empty campus during Thanksgiving break

<p>An &quot;‘I’m Here’&quot; card hangs on a door on Nov. 15, 2021, at a dorm room in Wilkie Quad. Students staying on campus for Thanksgiving should tape signs to their doors to alert maintenance that they are inside.</p>

An "‘I’m Here’" card hangs on a door on Nov. 15, 2021, at a dorm room in Wilkie Quad. Students staying on campus for Thanksgiving should tape signs to their doors to alert maintenance that they are inside.

As campus clears for Thanksgiving break, international students living far away from their families’ homes often stay each year.

IU freshman international student Joy Xu, who moved to Bloomington in August from Nanjing, China, will be staying on campus for the break because she is too far away from her family to visit home. Though she’s been enjoying her time in the United States so far, she said she wishes she could see her family more. 

“The only problem is it’s too far from my country,” Xu said. “I really miss my family.”

She said she hasn’t visited them since before she moved. 

Xu said she has planned some fun activities for over the break. She plans to go out to eat or do homework with other international students on campus. Later in the week, Xu said she may drive with her friends to Chicago for a few days. 

Although she won’t be able to visit her family in China over the break, IU freshman Dora Ding, who moved to the U.S. a few years ago from Shanghai, said she plans to visit with her mom who is living in Chicago.

Residential Programs and Services requests students like Xu or Ding who are planning to stay in their on-campus housing over Thanksgiving break register on RPS’s website. Students can print out a card for their door alerting maintenance staff that they’re staying in their dorms over the break.

RPS’s website notes students who plan to stay in their dorms over break may not invite guests who aren’t IU-Bloomington students to their rooms, may not prop exterior doors open and must make sure to follow all residence hall rules during the break.  

Over Thanksgiving break, Director of Residential Life Sara Ivey Lucas said the amount of residents staying in on-campus housing typically is less than 300 students. 

She said students should prepare in advance for break by filling out the online registration form, preparing their rooms for maintenance and looking into what services may not be available during the week. 

Ivey Lucas said that there will be significantly fewer dining services available during the intersession, so students should check RPS social media to see which dining halls are open and when.

Ivey Lucas said center desk services, like mail delivery, will be paused for the week. Students will still have access to a 24-hour phone number for emergencies over the break. 

Though RPS has not planned any Thanksgiving events for students staying on campus, Ivey Lucas said smaller departments and community agencies will often offer celebrations or activities to students on campus for the holiday. 

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