University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Office of International Academic Services, along with the help of community members, recently hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for international students at First Baptist Church.

All students, international or domestic, were encouraged to attend the dinner, but the main focus was to show international students what a traditional Thanksgiving meal looks like. It also gave international students a nice home-cooked meal, since most of them cannot travel home until Christmas break.

“This time of year is hard for students who can’t go home,” said Julie Deyrup, Director of International Academic Services. “That’s why this meal is so important; it lets them know that we love them and we care about them.”

More than 150 students, staff, and community members attended the dinner, which is a new record for the event. With so many mouths to feed, the International Academic Services reached out to the community for food donations. Churches and families brought in home-cooked entrées and desserts for UC’s students to enjoy.

“This dinner is good because we are all together, and everyone can try new food,” said Nicolas Grandperrin, a junior at UC from Vitreux, France. “It’s like one big family.”

Just six years ago the International Thanksgiving Dinner only had 15 people in attendance. The event has grown, and staff members in International Academic Services expect the event to flourish even more in the future.

“This dinner really is special for not just the international students,” said Deyrup. “It reminds us all that this is the season for giving and celebrating with those who care about you.”

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at