So after spending just over 3 months in the US, I was really excited to see what Thanksgiving was like and as expected, Americans really go all out for the holiday.
At the Carlson School we have a GLOBE buddy program where an American student is paired with an international buddy to help with any questions they might have prior to arrival etc. They also run events every month for all of the students to get involved in so the week before Thanksgiving they held a ‘Friendsgiving’ with the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweetcorn etc. with some international students even bringing dishes from their home country. It was really nice to see all of the students together and it meant we could ask all of the Americans what the holiday is really about (eating and sleeping apparently!)
I met my family in New York City for the Thanksgiving break and it was so amazing, nothing compares to NYC. After arriving in the city the day before Thanksgiving and having to get a taxi because we couldn’t get on the subway (literally the busiest day of the year) we eventually got to our airbnb. We then decided to head to Times Square that evening – when I first saw the banners I was so overwhelmed, it really is like something you see in the movies.
We decided to head to Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the morning. Everyone seemed super happy on Thanksgiving day, with even more people singing on the subway than usual. It was really cool to see all of the balloons, even though they were very random – people had been camping there since 6am!
We tried to do as much sightseeing as possible as it was our first time in New York. We went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, braved Black Friday shopping (most stressful experience of my life), The Empire State Building, China Town, Grand Central Station, Top of the Rock, The Statue of Liberty and saw Matilda on Broadway. I definitely want to visit the city in the summer, I bet the atmosphere is so different so it will almost be like visiting a completely different place – fingers crossed I will be able to visit at the end of the exchange year.
The highlight of the trip was definitely going Ice skating in Central Park – bucket list complete! Even though I wasn’t the best at ice skating as I haven’t done it for about 10 years, it was such a fun experience with views of the city skyline as well as festive music playing to really get everyone ready for the holiday season.
Even though I didn’t get eat any turkey on the actual day, it was still an amazing first Thanksgiving and I will definitely be one to celebrate the holiday every year from now on, even if I have to force everyone at home to do so.
Written by Ellie Savage – University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, USA