Each year, the International Students Office (ISO) highlights a few holiday celebrations around the globe. This fall, we have observed two notable holidays: Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween.
ISO collaborated with the MIT Canadians Club on October 17 to showcase Canadian Thanksgiving, which our northern neighbor celebrates on the second Monday of October. Even though Canada serves a similar Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and everything pumpkin, at this event the MIT community enjoyed the traditional Canadian dish of poutine (fries, gravy, and cheese curds), while also snacking on maple candies and cookies. The MIT Canadians Club shared various Canadian trivia, including the fact that basketball was invented by a Canadian in Massachusetts. In addition, we learned some slang, such as “click” for kilometer and “double-double” for a coffee with two creams and two sugars.
Celebrating Halloween is a beloved and long tradition at the International Students Office. Over the last 18 years, the ISO has shared our take on this uniquely American holiday with international students and MIT staff, decorating our entire reception area with spider webs, ghouls, witches, and other scary surprises. On October 31, students were invited to stop by between for a Halloween goodie bag and some apple cider donuts. There was also a prize for the first 10 people to arrive in costume. Students were surprised to discover the creepy touch-and-feel box; for a different prize, students had to guess what each of the six items were (hint: vampire veins were actually spaghetti). We look forward to more spooky additions in the years to come!
—Dana Reichman, International Students Office