The International Development Office (IDO) organised a post-finals holiday celebration for international students, their friends, and other UIC departments that support their study abroad experiences on 28 December.

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Decorations being hung in the International Development Office

At this event, students and staff not only celebrated the holiday season, but also the end of their final exams. IDO provided a delicious array of food and snacks, amid festive Christmas decorations and holiday music.

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Christmas tree

International students organised a classic “White Elephant” Christmas gift exchange game for the evening. A White Elephant gift exchange, also known as Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa, is similar to a Secret Santa gift exchange, but with a funny twist. Students were instructed to bring one wrapped present to the party. White Elephant gifts are known for being unusual, funny, or exceptionally mundane. To play the game, participants select gifts and open them for everyone to see. Then, participants enter a wild round of stealing, in which they are allowed to steal gifts from one another in an attempt to win the best or most interesting gift.

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UIC faculty members and Foreign Interns join the international students to celebrate

Some international students only spend one or two semesters at UIC. IDO’s holiday party provided an opportunity for these students to say their farewells and to reflect on their experience at UIC. Christy Tran, an exchange student from Hendrix College, US, commented, “I will really miss the people here, as well as Taobao!”

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Plenty of food and snacks were offered

Phoebe Wang stated “International students created such a strong bond with each other after their experience at UIC. Now they just had a taste of China and I hope they will stay connected with IDO and return one day to experience China and Chinese culture in depth.”

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International student Anh Ly from Towson University, US, studied at UIC for one semester. She was sad to see the semester end and wished she could have stayed longer, but she needed to return to the United States in order to complete her degree. However, Anh wishes to return to UIC in the future, potentially as a Foreign Intern.

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IDO wishes the best to its fall semester international students as they finish their time in Zhuhai and travel home.

Director of IDO Dr. Katharina Yu also gave special thanks to the departments at UIC that support international students. Special guests included Chinese Language and Culture Centre (CLC) Lecturer, Candice Cai, Student Affairs Office (SAO) Senior Residence Tutor, Carlee Chen and SAO Junior Residence Tutor, Linda Lin as well as Academic Registry (AR) Senior Administrative Officer, Shelley Wan and AR Senior Administrative Assistant, Phoebe Wang.

Reporter/Photographer: IDO
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Marissa Furney, Étienne Fermie (MPRO)