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Study Abroad Blog

How to Celebrate American Thanksgiving During your UK Study Abroad

Posted by Nadia Ibrahim-Taney on Oct 31, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Can’t justify flying home a handful of days for the holiday? No worries, the UK has you covered. The British do recognize Thanksgiving, albeit in various degrees of accurateness and authenticity, but you can typically find a great roast dinner just about anywhere. Enjoy our guide on the best British places and ways to celebrate Thanksgiving during your study abroad in the UK.

A holiday you say? We just call it Sunday roast.

Any honest, reputable British pub or restaurant participates in the British Sunday tradition of roast dinner. Consisting of roasted meat, roast potato, with accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and gravy, it is nearly the same as Thanksgiving dinner. Around Thanksgiving they’ll offer some special variety of mulled wine and pumpkin pie for dessert. There aren’t Turkey day celebrations as such (sorry no Macy’s Day parade), but it’s more so just an opportunity to have Sunday roast during the week.


Your attempt to get your British friends on-board

You think, “Oh, well, I’ve seen my family do Thanksgiving dinner like my whole life, I’ll totally do it for my British friends”. Then you realize it actually took your entire family, plus cousins, second removed aunts and uncles etc. to pull off feeding 20 people and backtrack on that idea. What you can do though, and rather successfully at that, is organize a pot luck and assign people what to bring. Whole Foods, mostly just around London at the moment, also does Thanksgiving catering which is actually pretty tasty.


Your UK university attempt at Turkey Day

The British love an opportunity to get together, have a good drink and eat fabulous food; a trait we inherited across the pond. Most universities will offer a formal Thanksgiving dinner or will have an informal gathering. Everything will be slightly off, like apple pie instead of pumpkin sans Cool Whip, but the effort is there and much appreciated after two full months away from home. Be prepared to answer questions about what Thanksgiving means to you, what your family specifically does and why there is a parade that closes down New York City, but other than that, you’ll have a great time.


GO BIG OR GO HOME… or to Plymouth!

This is the real deal way to celebrate Thanksgiving. The people of Plymouth, in Devon England, hold Thanksgiving celebrations to commemorate their 1620 Mayflower sailing, since technically it was their ship after all, and Plymouth’s Transatlantic heritage. The Lord Mayor kicks off festivities at the Plymouth Barbican, the waterfront area from which the Mayflower sailed, and the Plymouth University Student Union usually provides turkey, cornbread and soft drinks. Plymouth is a wonderful day trip as is with history and waterside fun to be had, but the picturesque pubs along the Barbican never hurt either.


The next simple steps…

Applying for a short term Study Abroad program couldn’t be simpler, just get in touch with one of our Across The Pond Advisors today and they will assist you with all aspects of your application.

Download the UK Study Abroad Program

Topics: short term studying

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