Finding Family & Food

Finding Family & Food

The best way to get to know people is over a plate of food! Food, drinks and the right conversation can equal making great friends for life. Over this semester, I have been lucky enough to be a part of a dinner club of sorts, where we get together once a week and celebrate our accomplishments over good food and drinks.


You will quickly learn that being in programs like this, or even studying abroad, you won't have the same support system that you had back home. But once you get to know a few people in the program with you, you will find that you rely on each other and, for a time, they will become your family. These weekly potlucks then expanded into celebrating birthdays and holidays, and it has become such a part of my routine that it feels like my week isn't complete if I haven't gone over to a friend's apartment for dinner!


These small experiences taught me that the people around the table were the people that I would be speaking with about life in 10–15 years. In such a short time, you bond so quickly! Here are my tips for pulling off a great potluck:



You will want to consider who’s apartment to host in. I know that this might sound obvious, but you need to consider the idea that your group of friends might not include every tenant in said apartment. Ask ahead of time, and make sure everyone is okay with 10 people coming over for dinner!



Make sure that the menu reflects the dietary restrictions of the group; we always made sure that everyone around the table had something to eat.



Don’t forget that you will need to drink something with your meal. More often then not, we were so focused on the food that we scrambled to find something to drink with our meal, often resorting to a bottle of water. But when the meal is that good, you had better get a few bottles of wine!


This idea catches on pretty quickly, and you may find that you can’t fit too many people in your room. If that is the case, talk to TWC staff, and you may be able to book a classroom for a larger gathering (we ended up having to book a classroom for Easter Dinner). Just keep in mind that if you are in a public space, you must refrain from bringing alcoholic beverages. Pop, juice, and tea will have to do! I think one of the greatest things about this idea is that so many people get to share their culture, and you also get an idea of what people turn to for comfort food. Obviously, not everyone will think of the same dish when they thought of home, so it was very interesting to see what people brought to the potlucks. Often times, there were so many different cultures being represented that we didn't need to worry about items being duplicated!



A pasta dish was often my go-to dish when I was in a hurry or had plans beforehand. If you buy some ready-made sauce and season it, and add lots of cheese, you are sure to please any crowd! Also, check out the chicken at Giant. For Easter dinner, I was able to pick up 40 pieces of fried chicken for just under $25! I came back from Baltimore that day, only 20 minutes before the potluck began. There is always something you can pull together, so you shouldn't have a excuse to not to attend one of these during your semester. Remember, it's about getting to know the people around you, and bonding over good food is the best way to round out the week.

Read Rahul's previous blog posts here

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