The holidays are right around the corner, and whether you’re a student who is studying abroad, a parent whose child is abroad, or have a friend currently overseas, holiday care packages might be on your mind.
Being away from family and friends during the holidays is hard, and a holiday care package is the perfect way to say “I love you” and send some much needed necessities. By this time in your student’s study abroad, they know what they’re missing from back home. We even asked some alumni to tell us what their favorite care package items were.
It’s always a good idea to check in to see what they could use, but here are a few surprises you can put together to make the holidays special from afar.
#1. Items to help them celebrate
Celebrating the holidays abroad is different and can feel lonely. No matter what, students are missing out on some of the traditions with family that they usually have back home. A great idea for a care package is to send some decorations and treats so they can make their overseas home feel like their U.S. home.
#2. Notes from the family
Gather up the family and ask everyone to write a personalized note to your student. They’ll love hearing from family and close friends about what’s going on back home and to know they’re being thought of and missed during the holidays.
#3. Look local
Sending gifts overseas can take a long time and be expensive. Look into local gift baskets that you can send to your student from the city they’re studying abroad in.
#4. Make it digital
A great way to save money on a holiday care package is to create a video! Get the family and your student’s closest friends together and create a “we’re thinking of you” video and send it off to your student. Don’t forget to include any furry family members as you know they’re being missed too!
#5. Send them something familiar from home
Sometimes a gift as small as a blanket from home can make you feel far less lonely. If your student has a favorite nick-knack or item that’s easy to get oversees, include that in your care package.
#6. Unique items they miss
It’s not until you’re abroad that you realize there are some unique American items that you simply can’t find in a lot of places. For example, hot sauce and peanut butter. You can use this list of 27 things to bring with you when you study abroad to put together some items that your student may be missing from home.
#7. Thanksgiving ingredients
Thanksgiving is rarely celebrated in other countries, so it can be difficult to find Thanksgiving ingredients. We’re not suggesting you ship a turkey overseas, but items like pecans, fried French onion rings, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, and candied yams can be difficult to find abroad. It should be noted that some countries don’t allow you to send food through the mail, so definitely look into the mailing laws before you send off those edible goods!
#8. Plan a visit
Nothing says I love you like visiting your student abroad! Check in to see what their class schedule is like and plan a time to go visit before they’re done with their time abroad.
When homesickness kicks in, students start to second guess why they chose to study abroad and want to just be in the comfort of their own home. As a parent or friend who knows someone studying abroad during the holidays, the greatest gift you can provide is your support. Chances are your student is experiencing some serious “I just wish I was home” vibes, so be sure to keep in touch and let them know how proud you are of them taking this opportunity and that you and their life will be right there waiting for them when they get home!