How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in CT – A Guide for International Huskies

As an international Husky, you might be feeling left out of the Thanksgiving celebrations taking place on Thursday, November 25, 2021, but there is so much you can do to celebrate the holiday in your own way. Use this guide to make your Thanksgiving break plans!

Here are some ideas on what to do if you will stay in Connecticut during Thanksgiving vacation and if you don’t have plans on this national holiday:

  1. ISSS Movie Night on Monday, November 22 at UConn library HBL Instruction 2119A (formerly Video Theater 2) at 2pm
  2. Prepare for Black Friday: Black Friday is an annual nationwide sale that falls on the Friday right after Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to take advantage of the sales and shop for things you need, such as electronics, clothes, accessories etc… Most department stores and shops will have already put up their Black Friday deals on their websites or social media accounts, so you can research and compare deals, and plan your shopping budget accordingly.
  3. Things to do locally:
    1. Run or watch the Manchester Road Race Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.
    2. Check out Winterfest Hartford for free ice skating in Bushnell Park November 26 – January 9.
    3. Check out other 35 things to do in Connecticut this November
    4. Stamford students – check out the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop November 26-December 24, 2021
  4. Typical American Thanksgiving Activities:
  1. Dining Hall hours during Thanksgiving week break:
  2. Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day for Dining or To-Go:
    1. Hartford and Manchester Restaurants
    2. Stamford and Fairfield County Restaurants
  3. Rec Center hours during Thanksgiving break:
  4. Volunteer for Thanksgiving and beyond:
  • Want to do good this Thanksgiving? A number of homeless shelters and soup kitchens are looking for volunteers. Find out if you can sign up to be volunteer since you don’t have plans, so you can spend the holiday helping others .
  • Want to volunteer to help others whenever you can? Check out Community Service Day page for different type of services to register for a day of community service. This is a great way to meet other students and to support our community.
  1. Hang out with other fellow international Huskies: Chances are, you are not the only one on campus who’s not celebrating Thanksgiving. See who else is around and organize a coffee/dinner get-together or even have a party! Whatever you choose to do, cherish this opportunity to just hang out with friends without stressing about finals. Off-campus students: Want to host your own Thanksgiving? Watch these YouTube Thanksgiving recipe videos and learn to prepare your own Thanksgiving feast.
  2. Relax and recharge: Not in the mood to socialize? That’s fine too! Use this opportunity to enjoy some alone time. Catch up on your favorite Netflix shows, exercise, read a good book or just catch up on sleep. This is the perfect time to relax and recuperate so you can face the last few weeks of the semester fully charged.

NOTE: ISSS office will be closed on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26, 2021

Enjoy your Thanksgiving break!




WORLDFEST 2016 is Here!  Join Us Now

2016 WF Invitation email FINAL



Listen to Coverage From WHUS UConn Radio On WorldFest 2015

(Article Below)

WorldFest 2015 Celebrates Global Diversity, Multiculturalism at UConn

By Reid DiRenzo & Jennifer Jaramillo


Students, families and local community members gathered at the University of Connecticut on Sundayto experience the diverse cultural organizations offered on campus. Many students and members were adorned in traditional cultural attire, and booths were lined up all around Rome Ballroom to highlight different artifacts, history and food.

Many participants in WorldFest expressed the importance of both learning about various cultures and reaching an understanding between other groups.

“We are all human from different parts of the world. We are wearing different clothes, but a majority of people all around the world have the same way of thinking they are kind and they want peace.”

That’s President of the Iranian Cultural Organization at UConn Reza Amin, a Ph.D. student who came to the U.S. in 2013. He says the group wanted to participate in WorldFest this year to counter the negative light in which he thinks Iranian culture is often portrayed.

“Since I came here I realized that people that many people don’t realize where Iran is geographically located, how the people look like, how the music sounds, how people write for example.”

The Bangladeshi Student Association was also featured at WorldFest and members performed a traditional Bengali song.

“We are you know very prideful in our own culture but we also really want to know about other cultural organization and respect other cultural organizations in the way that other respect us and I think that mutual respect is really important.”

That’s Rubayet Lasker, a member of the Bangladeshi Student Association at UConn, who was stationed at the organization’s booth to provide guests with information about show artifacts. Here’s Fariha Rashid, also from the Bangladeshi Student Association.

“It is a way to showcase my culture because you can see what I am when you look at me you don’t know what it means or where I come from. All these artifacts are things from my living room that my parents collect, things are really significant to me and it is important to share with the student community.”

Bangladeshi Student Association Member Shanjida Jui said "We are performing a Bengali song 'Modhu Maloti.'" (Photo By: Santiago Pelaez) Many other organizations put together a performance showcasing traditional dances, music and chants.

Sounds of traditional culture filled the air from the drum beats and chants from UConn Taiko. UConn Taiko President Timothy Siu says Taiko is a traditional form of Japanese drumming modernized for performances.

Representatives from Education Abroad were also in attendance to give interested students information on the different opportunities UConn offers to study abroad. One representative was UConn senior Franklin Bravo who studied abroad in London.

“Having lived in Europe for three in a half months and being Ecuadorian and having that different side of me it a good way to spread my enthusiasm for traveling diversity to other students and expand my own knowledge about the diversity on this campus.”

WorldFest 2015 will be held on:

Sunday, March 8th, 2015


Rome Ballroom (South Campus)


View our 2015 WorldFest flyer for more information – We hope to see you in March!

World Fest mini-flyer

Preliminary Information/Details

Worldfest Invitation 2015

Our WorldFest Introductory meeting dates are:

Tuesday, November 4th from 2pm-3pm

Wednesday, November 5th from 11am-12pm

Thursday, November 6th from 1pm-2pm

(Meetings will contain the same info, so organizations would only need to attend one of these)

If you would like more information, please email Patricia Lin-Steadman

Coffee Hour

  • CoffeeHouse
    Joe Gasser examines one of the books on Irish photography at the Coffee Hour in the International Center.
  • Husky-dog-Jonathan
    Jonathan the Husky Dog Visits with our International Students, Scholars, and Exchange Visitors (ISSS Photo 2014)

Coffee Hours at the International Center

Held on select Wednesday’s 3:00 pm-5:00pm

International Center

McMahon Hall

Come to the International Center each Wednesday for coffee, tea and snacks. Meet the International staff, other international students, conversation partners and stay for a short presentation, demonstration, lecture, film or music presentation. Our Coffee Hours have become one of the more popular weekly events held at the international center.

We encourage student organizations, cultural organizations, and various departments to co-sponsor at least one coffee hour a year. We have averaged an attendance of at least 65 students that attend Coffee Hours weekly from 26 countries.

If your organization would like to co-sponsor a Coffee Hour please email Patricia Lin-Steadman

Spring 2015 Coffee Hour Schedule:

Wednesday, February 4th

Wednesday, February 18th

Wendesday, March 4th

Wednesday, April 1st

Wednesday, April 22nd

International Women’s Group

Change can be both exciting and disturbing for international students and their families. For new international students, scholars and their spouses adjusting to their new lives in a the USA can be especially challenging. All have left family, friends, and familiar surroundings and many face the difficulties of communicating in a new language. Many have interrupted careers that were a source of pride and stimulation. Sadly many new students, scholars and their spouses can feel isolated and alone.
The International Women’s Group brings international women together to help them meet the challenges of their new life and to make their U.S. experience a rewarding one. At monthly meetings held at the International Center or around the Storrs community, members participate in discussions, demonstrations, plan trips and often share delicious food from many different lands. Trips will also be planned to a variety of interesting places within the Storrs area. Children of all ages and guests are always welcome. Fluency in English is not required. In fact, the meetings offer an opportunity to practice English.
Women’s group meets twice a month. To become a member of the International Women’s Group, please submit the Women’s Group Sign-up form. If you have any questions or concerns about Women’s Group please contact Laurie Tompkins (, or by calling (860) 486-3855. Both international and U.S. women are invited to participate.