By Kassadi Moore
BANGOR, ME – Spring Break has come and gone, although it doesn’t look like Spring outside. Many students around the area traveled home to see friends and family, while others traveled to Mexico, New York and Las Vegas. For international student, going to college in Maine is a trip in itself, but that didn’t stop them from taking their “traditional” Spring Break trips.
One group of international students traveled to Florida for the week. “There were four or five of them and they all loaded into a car, took turns driving just as any other students would, because they wanted the excitement,” said Administrative Assistant to the OASIS office Mikayla DiAngelis. According to their website, the OASIS office’s mission is “transforming student lives and preparing student for professional careers.” They also help international students transition to life in Maine from academics to where they are going to stay over break.
DiAngelis said all the international students took opportunities over break to go somewhere. Associate Director of the Chaplin Sarah Pringle-Lewis takes a group of students to Washington D.C. every Spring Break. Each student pays $200 to attend as they travel the nation’s capital to see an aquarium, plays and various monuments. “Even though they chose to go to a school so far away from the capital, we still gave them an opportunity to go down there,” said DiAngelis.
People in the community contact administrators within Husson University to house students over break. Many of these families are from costal regions, and give the students a new part of Maine to explore. “In a live-in situation, you’re constantly around the language, and then you’re trying different foods that maybe we don’t cook in the DDC, but a family recipe.” These families provide housing, food and new experiences at no cost. DiAngelis said this is a great opportunity for international students where most of them do not have cars or the opportunity to visit coastal Maine.
Another Husson student traveled with Habitat for Humanity. “All of them enjoyed their experience whether it was D.C., another family, or traveling together. They were all very happy to have the break and to also do that,” said DiAngelis.
Other Husson students did not take extravagant trips. Saker Ghanayem is a Junior from Florida who rooms with his brother. Neither he or his brother made this trip south over break. Ghanayem had a graduates exam the first few days of break, making the remaining time too short for a trip home. His brother decided to not make the trip by himself. “At first I thought it would be pretty boring. I thought I’m just going to try to relax, but I had more fun than I expected,” said Ghanayem.
Ghanayem is a member of the soccer team at Husson University, and bonded with some of his teammates who also stayed at Husson over break. The teammates played soccer as well as basketball over the chilly break. Ghanayem paid $175 to stay on campus over break. “I’m not really sure it was worth $175, but it is what it is,” said Ghanayem. Ghanayem said if the break was two weeks, he may have gone to Florida, and next year’s plans all depend on his school work. “I’d say that, it was a lot better than what I expected. We had a lot of things we could do… But would I like to stay here over break [next year], maybe not, but we’ll see,” said Ghanayem.