While spring break may be a time of relaxation for many students who go home, the time off is often a new experience for some international students.
Although Leonardo Mirando, a fourth-year agronomy student from Brazil, is familiar with the concept of spring break, he said it does not exist where he is from. But after attending Florida A&M for three years, Mirando has begun participating in spring break festivities.
In Brazil, there is no spring break because the school year is much shorter than in the U.S., he said. We have nine undergraduate students and one grad student attending FAMU from Brazil, and we all get together and plan vacations since it is too expensive to go back home.
Even though some international students did not experience spring break in particular, they are familiar with breaks from the school year. According to Ahmdiel Ahmadyah, a senior agriculture student from Israel, the school system there allows for many days off for other reasons.
Israel is on a totally different school system than the U.S., and we receive a lot of holy days out of school like the Passover and Yom Kippur, which is a Day of Atonement or forgiveness, Ahmadyah said.
According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the most popular destinations for spring break include South Padre Island, Cancun and the Bahamas, which are considered home to many international students.
Since many international students dont have finances to go home for spring break, they make the necessary preparations to have some form of entertainment. Jean Pierre, a junior computer science student from Haiti, said he made preparations for spring break, but they are not to go back to Haiti.
In Haiti, there is no spring break, only summer breaks, Pierre said. For breaks in Haiti, we usually spend time with family and go to the beach. This spring break, I plan to go to Miami and visit my family and friends.