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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How international students can get though the Family Weekend blues

    Selena Quintanilla

    International flags hang in the Bookstore located on the main floor of the Student Union Memorial Center. UA is home to a plethora of students from around the globe.

    As one of the most anticipated weekends of the semester approaches, the thrill felt by students across campus cannot be ignored.

    It will be a chance for them to finally reunite with their families and relive the good ol’ times for the weekend, on campus.

    But what about international students?

    It is unlikely that most parents overseas fly down to Tucson for a three-day stay and simply jet back as though it were a five-minute trip.

    RELATED: A parental perspective on Family Weekend

    While it may seem that not participating in family weekend as a whole is the easiest solution for international students, avoiding campus the entire weekend can only make the solitude worse.

    If you have friends with families coming down, ask them if you can spend time with their families and tag along.

    Even if that’s not the case, there’s still no harm in getting out of your comfort zone and trying new activities.

    Who knows—you might even make new friends along the way.

    Jasmine Lock, a physiology freshman, said getting involved is the best way to beat out-of-country homesickness.

    “I will probably attend the Chaka Khan concert with some friends,” Lock said. “We will also have a picnic with my roommates and their families. I totally dread being alone and feel really lucky I get along really well with my roommates.”

    From an ice cream social at the SUMC to a performance by the iconic Chaka Khan at Centennial Hall, the UA campus is the only place you don’t want to get out of this weekend. There will also be several free-of-charge activities available this weekend, so get informed and get involved.

    If it gets too uncomfortable and you feel left out, try finding other international students on campus and hang out with them. The UA is an incredibly diverse school with a wide range of students from all over the globe.

    RELATED: Super Cool News: The lonely student’s guide to getting through family weekend

    Now is the time to try and connect with them and plan to bond through the weekend as a group. If you want to get off campus, though, try going hiking one of Tucson’s various moutain ranges, shopping at the Tucson Mall or visiting other local sites.

    “Some other international students I met recently are going to visit the San Xavier del Bac church, and they invited me to tag along,” said communication freshman Uzoma Ndulue. “It’s a bit far, but I’ve seen pictures and it seems really interesting. There is no way I am staying on campus. It would make me homesick.”

    This weekend will also be a great opportunity for international students to watch American football, if they haven’t already—one of the biggest games this year will occur when the Wildcats face off with the USC Trojans on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Arizona Stadium.

    If you live in a dorm, you will also have the peace and serenity to video-call your family and friends back home.

    This weekend, the residence halls are going to get seriously quiet for once, and video calling family can always help you feel more at home, even without having family physically near you.

    Finally, remember that the weekend only lasts just that—a weekend. Not a lifetime.

    Soon, families will retreat back to their homes and your friends will once again become the only Wildcat family you need. 

    Follow Maryline Moulongo on Twitter

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