Invite an international student to your home for the holidays at your own risk, but let me warn you. Your invitation, offered in the name of cross-cultural solidarity and holiday cheer to some upstanding young man or woman with a charming accent and in need of a home-cooked meal could lead to an unprecedented chain of events, after which you may never be the same.

If you invite an international student home for Thanksgiving:

Your family gatherings may become much more entertaining. The international student may make your mom spew her drink when he misses the subtle difference between devil and deviled and asks her to pass the Satan eggs. She may make it her personal duty to remedy his dislike of ham, but she’ll still add a turkey to the table each Christmas especially for him.

If you invite an international student home for Thanksgiving:

You may watch his mother and yours, who don’t speak each other’s languages, laugh as they sled down a hill holding on to one another, and you will know that some things are stronger than cultures or words.

If you invite an international student home for Thanksgiving:

It may, of course, lead to nothing at all. It may simply mean another place setting at the table, another slice cut from the pumpkin pie, another friendly face in the shuffle of passing plates and giving thanks.

But the thing is, you never know.

To invite an international student home for Thanksgiving, please fill out this online form. ISS will contact volunteers on Friday, Nov. 8, to confirm their Thanksgiving guests. The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 1. Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 28. If you have questions, please contact me at dien1019@stthomas.edu.

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