WKU hosts third annual Thanksgiving for international students

Natasha Breu

The College of Health and Human Services and the Department of Applied Sciences teamed up to host WKU’s third annual free Thanksgiving for International students.

Julie Lee, an instructor in nutrition and dietetics, a member of the Internationalization Committee in the College of Health and Human Service, does student-led dining events with her Food Service Operations Management class and wanted to be involved with this event. She is a chef with over 12 years of experience and said coordinating events like these comes naturally to her.

Lee said she was particularly interested in this event because many international students do not go home over Thanksgiving break. Additionally she said there are no other food operations open on campus in Thanksgiving day.


“Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday meant to be spent with family and friends, celebrating life and giving thanks,” Lee said. “I wanted to offer this on Thanksgiving Day and invite them to a Traditional American Thanksgiving to spend with friends.”

Over 40 student volunteers mainly from the Hospitality Management and Dietetics major spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday working on preparing meals for the international students. Last year 50 students attended, and this is the first year the meal is open to every international student at WKU and not just those in the College of Health and Human Services.

Saud Emam, a senior from Saudi Arabia, said it’s hard to be away from his family this time of year but the support and hospitality from Lee and her crew makes him feel at home.

“It’s important to continue this event that allows us to meet new people from different countries and learn about new cultures,” said Emam. “Having friends from other countries opens new opportunities to find jobs and new ideas to make business around the world.”

The meal is held in Academic Complex room 213 from 1-3 p.m and includes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and gravy, along with vegetarian and vegan sides. The vegetarian sides include apple stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, potato casserole and macaroni & cheese. The vegan sides include roasted cauliflower, roasted brussels sprouts, wild rice, green beans, assorted salads and pies. 

News reporter Natasha Breu can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow Natasha on Twitter @nnbreu.