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     Imagine spending Christmas over 6,000 miles away from your family in a foreign land that doesn’t recognize the holiday and speaks a language you barely know! You may have just arrived and are there alone. The friends you have made are not locals and you have known them for only a few months at best.

Students from across the world gathered in an auditorium on the corner of UCLA for what might have been their first Chinese New Year away from their family. Also known as Spring Festival, for students from China this is their Christmas equivalent. It is a week long festival when families comes together for fellowship, eating, and giving hongbao which are red envelops filled with money for the children.

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We were able to host this celebration to honor international students studying abroad and make them feel more at home and loved. Most of them are missing the festivities of back home and missing their families. Chi Alpha strives its best to be there family in the United States. Festivities included…:

With the help of some of our Chinese friends, we were able to provide buffet style authentic Chinese food for everyone who attended. Many Chinese students love Ping Pong so we made sure to have a tournament for those who were passionate about that to showcase their skills. I was able to give it my best short at the Karaoke with Chinese subtitles, and we even had a marble picking up contest with chop sticks. It’s avenues like this that we are able to truly deepen our relationships with international students. This opens up great opportunities to invite them to our church services on campus and get them involved in a Bible Study.