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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

A world away on Thanksgiving

Seniors Travis Butler and Tony Le, who are studying abroad in London, pause to admire the Eiffel Tower while visiting Paris.


Thanksgiving typically means spending some much-needed downtime at home, hanging out with family, stuffing yourself silly with all kinds of delicious Thanksgiving staples, watching a lot of football, catching up on sleep, etc. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the American salute to turkey. But for the 57 Wofford students studying abroad for the Fall 2014 semester, their Thanksgivings won’t be quite the traditional fare to which they are normally accustomed. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American tradition, meaning most countries don’t give it a second thought, and while many study away programs account for this with their own attempts at Thanksgiving, celebrating anywhere other than America just isn’t going to be the same.

Across the pond in London, England, senior Tony Le gears up for a completely different Thanksgiving experience. He’s trading Thanksgiving in Charlotte with his extended family for lectures and class. But that didn’t stop him from bringing a little American tradition to our British cousins.

“I’ve had the opportunity to live, connect and become friends with several English students, so along with my American friends here, we plan to host a Thanksgiving dinner to show them what the holiday is all about,” says Le.

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Le is looking forward to sharing a little culture and saying thanks to his new friends for teaching him about British culture, despite some difficulty finding the necessary ingredients for the Thanksgiving staples.

In Granada, Spain, senior Savannah Mack is also looking forward to a similar cultural exchange.

“My host mom has had 20 plus students live with her from the United States, but she told me that every year she learns something new about the holiday. This year my roommate and I are going to make the whole family sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie — if we can find the ingredients,” says Mack.

Junior Jack McAlhany and seniors Savannah Mack , and Hal Cannon are spending their semester in Granada, Spain.
Junior Jack McAlhany and seniors Savannah Mack and Hal Cannon are spending their semester in Granada, Spain.

Le and Mack may have to suffer through lectures on Turkey Day, but on a different continent, in Beijing, China, senior Sarah Wise will get a little vacation.

“We technically have a break, but it’s just a weekend off for travel, not a celebration of the holiday,” she says. “They’re taking us to get some Thanksgiving style food in Beijing, and then I’m off to Hainan for a few days.”

Wise says she is looking forward to Hainan, the southernmost province in China, because it is an island complete with a tropical climate and beautiful beaches.

“I think being in Spain, I am really more than anything going to miss that time spent with my family,” says Mack, who says that separation from loved ones is always difficult during the holidays.

Wise shares Mack’s sentiment.

“I’ve never not been with family for Thanksgiving. I’m excited for my travels, but I feel like I’m missing an important day with my loved ones.”

For Le, it’s even stranger.

“I’m actually going to still be in Europe during Christmas, too, so I probably won’t see my extended family until Easter.”

Although the company might be a little different and the sense of tradition might not be quite there, Le, Mack and Wise all seem determined to make the best of their Thanksgiving situations and have high hopes about celebrating.

The Wofford Old Gold and Black staff sends best Thanksgiving wishes to all of the students here and abroad.

— Leah Hunter

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