Dining hall closures and the lack of campus activities make spring break less of a treat for international students living in residence halls.
Of the 3,249 international students enrolled at UH this semester, 237 live on campus, according the Office of International Students.
“The school should have more events for on-campus students to celebrate spring break together like parties or field trips because international students do feel lonely, especially during spring break,” said accounting and finance senior Quan Tran.
For some international students living on campus, the early closing hours for dining facilities and the recreation center during the break were a nuisance.
“There’s no choice but to eat outside of campus,” said Sascha Lulla, a finance senior from Singapore.
Lulla drove to the nearest Wendy’s or Subway when businesses like the Calhoun Loft’s convenience store closed at 3 p.m.
“The school should really cater to its international students since they have so many,” Lulla said.
Other international students, like hotel and restaurant management post-baccalaureate Agi Anthony don’t have vehicles to drive to a restaurant off campus.
Anthony, who moved to Houston from Nigeria two years ago, said his meal plan was wasted when dining facilities on campus were shut off, and the current contract he signed did not warn him of this problem.
“No one does anything about it,” Anthony said.
“It’s a challenge that international students have experience with during Thanksgiving.”
Since using his meal plan wasn’t a viable option during the break, Anthony used money to buy snacks or dine at China Star when it was open earlier in the day.
“We should be able to eat,” Anthony said. “But if we can’t, they should put it in the contract, so we understand and aren’t left in the dark.”
Anthony said spending spring break on campus, far from his friends and family, made him homesick, but it’s something international students must go through as they work to achieve their goals.
“Here you always miss that fellowship and those communications you have back home,” Anthony said.
“But we try to do what we can, to try to get where we want to get to.”