Big givin'

Thanksgivin’ all over the world: Juniors celebrate Turkey Day abroad

Big givin'

Hours before you enjoyed a glass of mulled wine, watched a bunch of men toss around the pigskin, and sat down for dinner, juniors studying abroad this semester had the unique opportunity to engage in the Turkey Day festivities in different countries (and time zones) around the world. These students have more than their respective study abroad experiences to be thankful for—Thanksgiving proved to be a reminder of these students’ national pride as they were able to take this slice of Americana with them and blow it up in big and creative ways. Check out how your peers celebrated Thanksgiving abroad after the jump.

Sarah Rubin ’14
Bologna, Italy: 


L-R: Brian Moore ’14, Sarah Rubin ’14, Lilly Duran ’14

The night before Thanksgiving, the entire Brown-in-Bologna program and all of our Italian roommates celebrated with a dinner at a local trattoria in Bologna. The restaurant served us our Thanksgiving dinner, complete with Italian antipasti like prosciutto, bruschetta, and caprese, and even an appetizer pizza. For our main course, the biggest turkey known to man was rolled out by the waitstaff with two American flags sticking out of it, just as the American national anthem blared (on repeat) throughout the entire restaurant. It was definitely the strangest and cheesiest Thanksgiving I’ve ever had, but we all left dinner in super high spirits and with super full stomachs.


Ethan McCoy ’14

Edinburgh, Scotland:

In Edinburgh, Thanksgiving seems as rare as a sunny day. That said, I hit up my local Tesco, and for under 15 pounds (equivalent to roughly 32 Schrute Bucks), found for myself and my flatmate the staples of an all-American dinner–in microwavable/”add hot water” forms of course (who knew you could make gravy from pellets?). The only true cooking I had to do was of turkey breasts, and judging by the fact that I am still alive, they were cooked to perfection edibility. I added a Scottish touch with a local ale (yes, I’m a douche) and like everything involved in studying abroad, it was just a really cultural, spiritual, and life-changing experience that I bet you can’t wait to hear about. 


Felicia Iyamu ’14

Berlin, Germany:

That's the spirit!

Felicia Iyamu ’14 (right)

I celebrated my Thanksgiving with students studying abroad in Berlin from New York University. We enjoyed the usual turkey, stuffing, and side dishes, but our beloved cranberry Sauce was absent from the meal. Students also baked deserts for the “Bake-Off” Competition. It was a happy Thanksgiving.

Austin Mertz ’14
Barcelona, Spain:

Brown in Barcelona! Ole!

Pictured: Christian Durango ’14, Paige Simmons ’14, Johanna Thompson-Westra ’14, Carolina Gomes ’14, Kim Clifton ’14, Emily Polk ’14, Charlie Kannel ’14, Jamie Harris ’14, Michaela Campbell ’14, Galen Hunt ’14, and Maggie Pace ’14.

We had a potluck where everyone brought a dish they had made in the kitchen on their floor (since we’re spread throughout a big dorm building, mixed in with other local students). We all shared the food and then hung out drinking mulled wine, then someone brought two guitars for a jam sesh/sing-along. After about 2-3 hours, the dorm guards (think DPS) came and told us that a bunch of the other residents in the rooms next door/above/below our kitchen were trying to study and had complained about the noise, so they broke it up and we all cleaned our dishes and went to bed.

Sam Wickham ’14
Palo Verde National Park
Guanacaste, Costa Rica:

"I know the kid is in my lap. Sexual preference is a spectrum! Fuck heteronormativity."

Sam Wickham ’14 (second from right)

 Since we are living in a biological station in northern Costa Rica, an hour away from the closest town, our group had written off any chance of a Thanksgiving dinner. During lecture that afternoon, our professor told us they were fumigating the dining hall for cockroaches (gross), so we couldn’t even drown out our sorrows with free coffee. Turns out, there weren’t any roaches, and we were surprised with a full Thanksgiving spread, which inspired lots of grateful cheers and a few chest bumps. 


Perri Gould ’14
Hanoi, Vietnam:

Perri Gould ’14 (first from right)

On the night of Thanksgiving, all 35 students on the IHP: Cities in the 21st Century program helped cook a Thanksgiving dinner for over 50 people in a small cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam. After dinner, I went home to my host family, and my mom and sister were very curious about our feast.  My roommate and I decided we would cook a second Thanksgiving dinner to take place the following night. We had to replace the turkey with roast chicken and sweet potatoes with yams, but it all worked out in the end. And my host mom ate the entire meal with chopsticks! 

Kat Thornton ’14
Havana, Cuba:

Kat Thornton ’14 (left) and Madeline Coburn ’14 and relish in their surprising turkey victory.

Brown in Cuba’s Thanksgiving began with a challenge — an American friend brought us a Butterball turkey, an atypical food item found only in the foreigner-oriented supermarkets in Havana’s ritzy Playa neighborhood. We planned to make the traditional dishes, subject to local food availability, and host a dinner for ourselves and friends from our host institution, Casa de las Americas, in our seaside apartment.
The menu for the night included mashed malanga (instead of potatoes), homemade stuffing (thanks to Carey Powers ’14 Colby College), sweet boniato and peach pies (Lydia Yamaguchi ’14) an assortment of veggies (Kathleen Lister ’14 and Gretchen Gerlach ’14) and mani molido topped with chocolate (Terra Laughton ’14). Despite working with an oven with only “alto,” “medio,” and “bajo” gauges, Madeline Coburn ’14 and Kat Thornton ’14 managed to successfully cook the first turkey of their adult lives (and Lister and Coburn provided the gravy!). After thoroughly stuffing our faces true to American tradition, we concluded the night with a couple of sing-a-longs (guitar provided by Nick Gomez-Hall ’13) and a viewing of The Matrix

Pictured (not in order): Terra Laughton ’14, Nicolas Gomez-Hall ’13, Kathleen Lister ’14, Kat Thornton ’14, Lydia Yamaguchi ’14, Nealy Williams ’14, Carey Powers (Colby College) ’14, Madeline Coburn ’14, Gretchen Gerlach ’14, Walter Garcia ’14, and Ezio Neyra (coordinator).

It was truly a team effort, and we owe a good amount of thanks to everyone who dedicated their time to cooking, taking photos, or providing good company, and also to Maria, Miladies, Zenaida and Renee, Casa de las Americas employees who run our residence and helped us get through the tricks of the Cuban kitchen.

The wise sage Ludacris once said (rapped?), “All over the world baby, it’s only right that I share my experiences with y’all, cause I’ve been places where you’ll never imagine.” Weirdly, this lyric is fitting (albeit grammatically incorrect)—in sharing their unique and extraordinary Thanksgiving experiences with us, these students have reminded us that the holiday centered around gratitude, family and friends, and great food shouldn’t be taken for granted. For that, we couldn’t be any more grateful.

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