Family and students posing at the dinner table

Thanksgiving Dinner Program

Thanksgiving is celebrated in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday in November each year and is the most widely celebrated secular holiday. Americans traditionally gather with family and loved ones around a dinner feast of food and drinks to celebrate this day. The holiday is not only a time to spend with relatives and friends, but also a moment to give thanks for all that they have. The holiday coincides with fall break and a week off of classes for students. During this time, many American students will return home to be with their families. 

We recognize that many international students are not able to travel home to be with their families for the week and have created a special Thanksgiving Dinner Program which enables them to join an American family (host) and experience this traditional American holiday with them. Our hosts come from a variety of backgrounds in the Temple community, each with their own set of family traditions. This is not only a great opportunity for international students to learn American culture, but also to share their own cultures with American host families at the dinner.

Our office strives to match as many students with local host families depending on the number of spots available at the hosts’ home. We recommend signing up early during our program sign-up period. The sign-up link is sent out a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving. This program is open to all Temple students. Relatives and spouses are welcome to join. We also recommend reading these helpful dinner guest etiquette tips. 

If you have any questions or suggestions about the program, we would be more than happy to hear from you. Please contact us at

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff created a special virtual Thanksgiving celebration, demonstrating how to cook family recipes and sharing favorite holiday memories with the International Community. Watch our Thanksgiving 2020 program here!