Don’t stop the party: celebrating the holidays while teaching overseas
With Halloween creeping up, Thanksgiving right around the corner, and Christmas and Hanukkah just about a month away, we’re sure all you teaching overseas are feeling a little nostalgic for your traditions back home. The holidays can be a tough time to be away from home. But the holidays can still be a special time of year to bring you closer together with your fellow teachers, your students, and there are even ways to still celebrate with your family back home!
Make use of video chats
With Facebook video calls, Skype, and Google Hangouts, it’s so easy to keep in touch with your friends and family back home during these holidays and get to see their faces as well.
Because many of us look at the holidays as family time, don’t let distance stop you: make use of Skype to keep in touch and enjoy the holidays together. If you think you’ll miss Christmas dinner, ask your family to Skype you in!
Calling all expats
It’s a good thing to enjoy some of the festivities back home, but try to make new memories with your fellow teachers. It’s likely that they are in the same boat and miss their family time too. Find teachers that share your traditional holidays and recreate them where you are, however you’d like! Or make something new of the holidays: try and ask everyone to bring a dish from their home country for a Thanksgiving dinner together.
Keep tradition alive
Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Did you love being the one to hand out candy to trick or treaters? Do you have one dish that you just love to eat every Thanksgiving? Email your family for any secret recipes, get your hands on a copy of your favorite movie, and invite your students to dress up on Halloween and bring them candy as a reward. Whatever activities you do to bring the holiday spirit out can be done abroad as well with a little ingenuity.
Share with your students
Your students probably know a little bit about your holidays, especially if it’s Christmas or Halloween. But they may not know much, and they’ve probably never celebrated it. Take this opportunity to teach each other something: ask them how they celebrate their holidays and show them how you celebrate yours. Many of your students will be really excited to show you something as personal to them as their traditions during the holidays and how their families celebrate.
Remember that if you feel really homesick, you’re on a contract teaching abroad for a limited time and that your hometown isn’t going anywhere. Maybe you’ll be back there before you know it. So make sure to make the most of your time teaching abroad. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but try to get into the mindset of living in the present. Next Christmas dinner that you’re back home for, you’ll have all these awesome memories of your times teaching abroad to share with your family!
So how do you plan to celebrate your favorite holidays abroad this year?