Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Sharing the American Tradition of Giving Thanks with International Students


International students at the annual ESL Thanksgiving celebration

November 23, 2011

When Patricia Szasz, Director of the Intensive English Programs (ESL) at the Monterey Institute brought forth the turkey she had woken up at 5 am to start roasting it was like a rock star had arrived.  Many of the international students participating in the annual ESL Thanksgiving party took out their cameras and cellphones and started taking photos of the star - the traditional American Thanksgiving turkey.

As part of their English language lessons, ESL students learn about culture and context.  For Thanksgiving, the students along with their teachers prepared traditional pies and side dishes for a feast where they shared with each other what, apart from the good harvest and wonderful meal, they are thankful for.  Most of the students gave thanks for their families and the opportunities they have been given.  Although Thanksgiving is an American tradition, it might appear that what we are thankful for is international!