International House Philadelphia resident Alpaslan Ersoz recently sat down with Daily Pennsylvanian writer Jeffrey Careyva to discuss his experience being away from home and in Philadelphia over the holidays, and, in particular, how living at IHP kept him active and engaged with events, while providing him with a unique opportunity to continue meeting new people during a time that is traditionally very quiet on most college campuses.
Below is an excerpt from that article.
Several international students at Penn didn’t have the good fortune of returning home for winter break. It can feel easy to be lonely on a barren campus, but two students made the best of their time off in Philly.
Alpaslan Ersoz is an Engineering graduate student from Konya, Turkey who spent his break in the International House of Philadelphia. IHP held some events for its residents over break, keeping them active and out of the cold until school started back up again. Ersoz participated in a talk about African diaspora, among other organized events. IHP’s events allowed him to meet new faces around University City, while many people were back home with the same old friends and families.
Although this winter has been lacking much snow or ice, Penn’s campus was much more socially frozen and bleak over break. “The campus was so silent, and the situation was hard on me, because without students, the campus is like a ghost town,” Ersoz said.
Though he would have liked to return to Turkey for break, Ersoz still managed to have some fun nights in Philadelphia. He was without any family, but a handful of friends stayed for break as well. Ersoz got together with some of his remaining Turkish friends and ventured downtown to celebrate New Years’ Eve in American style. “It was the first time for most of us to see how Americans celebrate the holiday,” he said.
To read the full article by Jeffrey Careyva on the Daily Pennsylvanian website, please click here.