By Keila Funez, Staff Writer

Fall break is one of the holidays that students get to go home and get away from campus. But that is not the case for some students. Either they live in a state far from Indiana, they are athletes who must stay for the weekend, or they are international students, like me. 

When holidays are just for a few days, buying a ticket to fly back home is not worth it. During some breaks, I usually stay on campus. When the dorms are closed, I stay in a friend’s house in Ohio. Alana Bates is the first American friend I made during my first semester here at Huntington University. She was pursuing an animation degree and she graduated this past May. Bates usually invited me to her house whenever the dorms were closed, but this time I did not have anywhere to go. 

As a second-semester sophomore, I spent most of my second fall break on campus. It mostly involved resting and studying for the quizzes and exams I was going to have after break. But the highlight was my second Fall Break Chicago Trip. Every year, the International Student Council (ISC) plans a trip for the international students who stay on campus. 

On Monday, October 14th, we woke up early in the morning and met at the Science Hall parking lot. When we arrived in Chicago, we went to Giordano’s, a traditional Chicago pizza restaurant. After getting lunch together, we separated in groups. My group included Sandrina Thompson, an international student from Jamaica, and Navya Priestley from India. We met a part of Priestley’s host family that are currently living in Chicago and went to Water Tower Place, which is a mall. We walked around and did some shopping. Then we went downtown for more shopping and got dinner at a wings place.

Since I was having such a good time, time flew by quickly. We then headed back at the end of the day to meet everyone else near the place the van was parked and started our trip back to campus.

Having the opportunity to travel for at least a day makes me feel better. I try not to think too much about home to avoid getting homesick. But during breaks, it is hard not to think about home when I see the number of students getting ready to leave.

Having friends to keep me company prevents me from getting sad. And honestly, spending time with International Students makes me feel happy and at home. Even though we come from different cultures, it is easy to get along with each other. After almost four semesters at HU, they have become not just my friends, but my family.