Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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International students find flight home a trek

Many people see the holidays as a sort of homecoming, a time to catch up with family and, especially for college students, a chance to see high school friends. But when home is not just a few hours’ drive away, but instead a ten-hour flight, students may spend more than a day going back to their home country – if they go at all.

Many international students do return home over Winter Break, but the shorter breaks pose can pose problems for them.

“Thanksgiving break is a different story,” said McCormick senior Izzat Katkhuda, who is from Jordan. “Due to the relatively short nature of the break it is not worth flying 13 hours each way to go back home.”

This year, Katkhuda stayed in Evanston for Thanksgiving. In past years he has gone to Montreal and Aspen, Colo.


“Thanksgiving is a different story. Due to the relatively short nature of the break, it’s not worth flying 13 hours each way to go back home.”

Izzat Katkhuda

McCormick senior


This Winter Break will be the first time he has not returned to Jordan during his stay at Northwestern.

“I will be going to the NU ski trip and plan to visit a friend in Japan for the rest of the break,” he said.

McCormick junior Pranay Agarwal, who is from India, plans on returning home this winter. For him, going home means seeing his friends and family, who he doesn’t see for months at a time during the school year.

“I go home every Winter Break for sure and I would not miss it for the world as my friends are studying all over the world,” he said. “Also, I get homesick pretty easily and I am dying to go home.”

Even though many NU students are from the far reaches of the United States, they can still call their family with little inconvenience.

For students from the Eastern Hemisphere, calling or Instant Messaging can pose a problem because of faraway time zones.

“Sometimes it is hard because it is afternoon (at NU) and late night back home, but at night here I can call home,” said Weinberg freshman Claudia Barna of the eight-hour time difference between Evanston and Bucharest, Romania.

During shorter breaks, she plans to stay with friends rather than travel back to Europe. She spent this Thanksgiving break with some NU friends in New York.

But Barna said she is going home for winter break and plans to visit everyone she knows in Romania.

She said she’s looking forward to other holiday traditions.

“I’ll decorate the Christmas tree with my family while singing Romanian carols,” she said.

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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International students find flight home a trek