International students face spring break away from home

By Allison Jarboe, Features Editor

With Spring break quickly approaching, many international students are faced with a common situation. Fall, thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks present a challenge for those who do not have a home to go to within the country.

Pictured: Sophia Benvenuti. / Courtesy Photo

Junior business major and volleyball player Sophia Benvenuti, junior physical science major from Brazil, explained that her spring break is uncertain.

“I don’t have anything planned for spring break yet,” she said.

When someone’s home is continents away, they must figure out alternatives.

“My biggest challenge during the breaks is that everyone goes home,” Sophia said. “As a result, essentially I stay here on campus alone.”

Not only is their physical home far distant, but the people who characterize their home, their families, are also far away.

Sophomore business marketing major from Brazil, Isabella Scarinzi, said that seeing non-international students return home is a reminder that her home is nowhere nearby.

“It’s always a challenging seeing everyone going back to their homes,” Scarinzi said. “It’s realizing that your home is so far away and that I only get to go back twice a year.

Sophia said that spring break, with no classes or structured schedule, can be harder than when school is in session.

“I miss my family a lot during those times,” she said.

However, despite the difficult obstacles that international students are faced with over spring break, some have gotten creative.

Scarinzi is going to Orlando, Florida, over spring break.

Pictured: Isabella Scarinzi. / Courtesy Photo

“I’m staying the whole week there, and I’ll go to Disneyworld and Universal Studios,” she said. “I’m also going to beach, which I’m super excited for, and I’ll go shopping.”

Scarinzi’s mom and sister are meeting her there, coming from Brazil, and her roommate Emily Wilkerson, sophomore education major will go with her.

“Emily has never seen the ocean so that’s exciting for her. It will be a great time to hang out with my family and Emily, and do fun things outside of Oklahoma!”

Scarinzi initially had the idea in January, then talked with her family about it, and “they were on board for it! Then we decided to also invite my roommate, and she loved the idea as well,” Scarinzi said.

While some international students have made plans for spring break, and others haven’t, non-international students can always have an important role in helping their breaks to be relaxing and fun.

Scarinzi said that her roommate, from Blanchard Oklahoma, has helped in this way.

“My roommate’s family adopted my as their ‘Brazilian daughter’,” she said. “Most of the time we’re off school, I go to her house.”

Scarinzi said that she loves being with the Wilkersons, and they are super welcoming towards her.

“Even though my family is far away, her family is there for me,” she said.

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