This semester marked an overwhelming contribution of American students to the OU Cousins program. Americans outnumbered foreign exchange students at about a 3 to 1 ratio. While this made the match process slightly difficult and I unfortunately could not be paired for this semester, there were still many opportunities to get involved and experience the joy that is encountering other cultures.
Around the Thanksgiving holiday, the OU Cousins program hosts a potluck Thanksgiving to give Oklahoma visitors a chance to participate in fine Southern cooking. There was a large array of food offered, ranging from cornbread to turkey. I personally brought a Dutch apple pie and a pumpkin pie to the dessert table. At my table we discussed what a typical Thanksgiving consisted of and what activities generally take place. We also comforted each other with the thought of final projects and tests looming over our heads. It was nice to get to bask in the warmth of friendly strangers’ company for an evening. I am always astounded by similarities possessed by a group of individuals so seemingly different. Even though most of us lived thousands of miles apart and came from tremendously diverse backgrounds, we all appreciated the prospect of good food and even better people to enjoy our meal with. In this sense, even with its makeshift elements, the OU Cousins Potluck Thanksgiving really captures the ambiance of the holiday and provides a similiar boost of morale entering into the frigid winter season.