Help to brighten the holidays for Brock international students

The Brock community is encouraged to embrace the saying, “the more the merrier,” and welcome international students into their homes during the holiday break.

While many of the University’s students head home over the holidays to spend time with family and friends, hundreds of international students are unable to make that journey.

Brock’s annual Home for the Holidays program strives to provide international students with a memorable holiday experience in Canada.

The program, which runs from Dec. 22 to Jan. 8, invites host families to open their doors during the festive season and invite students to share in a holiday tradition, activity or event.

This could mean welcoming students to a special dinner with family and friends, watching a popular holiday movie together or, if the weather co-operates, taking in a popular winter pastime such as ice skating and tobogganing, among other activities.

When Brian Chan (BA ’22) was unable to travel to see his family during last year’s winter break, he turned to the Home for the Holidays program.

“The experience made me feel like I was part of a warm community,” said the Brock graduate and former international student, who now works in the University’s International Mobility Office.

The program provides students with the valuable opportunity to make connections, try something new and immerse themselves in the local community, Chan said.

Having previously participated in Home for the Holidays, Darryl Veld, Brock’s Associate Director, Student Affairs, said the program was a rewarding experience for his family.

“Welcoming international students into our home to celebrate made the holiday special,” he said. “Sharing a meal and a few laughs around our table with a traditional holiday dinner made the students feel a little less distant from family and their home traditions.”

To register as a host for the program, fill out a short form on the Home for the Holidays website.

Both international students and prospective hosts looking to learn more about Home for the Holidays are invited to attend an online information session on Tuesday, Dec. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. Details are available on ExperienceBU.

The deadline to apply as a host is Thursday, Dec. 15.

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