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REF NO.: 62

SUBJECT: Memorial seeks volunteer families for unique holiday program
DATE: Nov. 28, 2008

Organizers of a unique tradition at Memorial University are hoping families in the St. John’s area will have extra room at their tables this holiday season for some international students.
The university’s International Student Advising Office is once again organizing its annual Christmas Holiday Hosting Program which matches local families with a pair of international Memorial students from around the world who can’t make it home during the holidays.
Over the past several years, dozens of international students have had the chance to spend time with families, taking part in traditional holiday dinners and celebrations. In turn, they get to share their multicultural heritage with locals.
“This event creates the opportunity for all to mingle and learn new things from each other,” said Shahana Islam, an employee with Memorial’s International Student Advising Office and one of the organizers of this year’s program.
“Let’s show international students the Newfoundland hospitality by sharing a Christmas meal with a couple of international students who are away from their loved ones.” 
Last year, 40 families took part in the initiative and organizers are hoping to increase that number this year.
Interested families who would like to participate in the program can e-mail Ms. Islam at holidayhosting@hotmail.com or call 737-7505.
Matching will take place on Dec. 10.
 

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