My First American Thanksgiving

Friday, December 2, 2016

Foreign exchange student, Anna Ivanova moved from St. Petersburg, Russia, to the Carroll College campus this last fall to study Sociology. She is a third year university student and she has been busy studying and taking advantage of how valuable her education is here, while learning the Montana culture along the way. In light of the holiday season she got the opportunity to learn more about her new temporary home of Helena. Sasha Fendrick, Executive of WorldMontana on the Carroll College Campus, is also from Russia and took Anna in with the support of her other WorldMontana friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. Sasha introduced Anna to WorldMontana members, Ron Lukenbill, and Larry and Kathy Dreyer who are host families, and together they shared a fall evening in Helena, Montana.

This was Anna’s first real American experience getting to spend time with a true American family, coming into their home and seeing how they lived. Over Thanksgiving dinner at the Dryer’s she got to try new foods she would have never dreamed of trying, and ended up very much enjoying it. Sharing this experience and taking part in the Thanksgiving traditions with her new intercultural WorldMontana friends, Anna was able to feel the spirit of the American holiday for the first time. After Thanksgiving, Anna got to take a stroll around Helena that Saturday with Sasha, making stops at the Capitol Building, the Historical Museum, the local farmers market, and the historical Downtown area. This was her first time getting to learn the history behind the little city she has been living in for four months, and she has been overjoyed with how warm and welcoming Montanans have been to her. Anna has loved her experience so much in Montana that it is going to be hard to leave once the semester ends in December. That being said, she is determined to come back to study in America to obtain her Master’s degree. We wish you the best of luck Anna in your pursuit to fulfilling your dreams, and you are always welcome back with our arms wide open.