Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the memories you make will stay with you forever. Depending on when you travel, however, you may be missing family and home a little extra if you miss a holiday. Since Turkey Day is upon us, here are five tips on celebrating Thanksgiving while studying abroad!

1. Friendsgiving still applies!

This may be obvious, but no matter where you are, you can always have a Friendsgiving! Making a whole turkey may be out of the question, but why not share a meal with your friends and spend quality time together? Each friend can bring a dish, and you can even tailor the menu to the local cuisine, like these friends did while studying abroad in Shanghai!

Hosting Thanksgiving in Shanghai in the TEAN apartments | Nathan Robertson

2. In a homestay? No problem!

Ask your host family if you can join in on Thursday dinner’s prep, or plan a fancy meal together. One the best parts of studying abroad is immersing yourself in the culture, so get cookin’! Getting to know the people you’re living with can create bonds that will last a lifetime, too.

Hosting Thanksgiving in Shanghai in the TEAN apartments | Nathan Robertson

3. Find a local restaurant that serves Thanksgiving-y food

Surely macaroni and cheese, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes aren’t exclusive to the US! Search restaurants near you that serve some hearty autumn meals, and you can bask in that Thanksgiving-night too-full feeling.

4. Video chat with your loved ones

Nothing screams Thanksgiving like spending time with family and friends. Make sure to set a time to call your parents or your best friend to catch up on all the amazing places you’ve seen and what everyone’s been up to while you’re away! Still feeling the FOMO? Catch TEAN alum Nick’s advice on Letting Go While Staying Connected When Studying Abroad.

Friends Abroad in New Zealand | Karim Iliya

5. Be in the moment

Last but not least: appreciate the little things while being abroad! Always take a step back to remind yourself just how exhilarating this experience is. Take note of the things that remind you of home to ease homesickness, but get excited about the new foods you’re trying, new cultures you’re experiencing, and new stories you have to bring back.

Whether you’re homesick, missing Thanksgiving turkey, or need an excuse to spend time with friends, we hope these tips help make your Thanksgiving abroad even more special. Happy holidays from ISA!