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    Guest blog: How a dinner can help make the difference for those away from friends and family

    5 January 2024

    This festive period, a small gathering was held for international students on December 25, offering them the chance to  enjoy the day together.

    In this guest blog, Harper Adams Students’ Union Student Voice Co-Ordinator, Zena Rittenhouse, explains what led her to set the event up – and why she feels it was important.

    I am so proud that HASU organised and sponsored an interfaith, international festive dinner for Harper students who are away from their friends and family at home while studying with us.

    Over Christmas in 2022, it was on my mind that some Harper students might be alone – no shops open, no restaurants open and limited transportation to go anywhere.

    Even if you don’t normally celebrate Christmas – it can still be a pretty lonely day.
    Perhaps it’s being so far from Canada and my Canadian family that makes this so personal.

    So, in 2023, we found the budget to hold a festive dinner and we got the word out to international students not going home.

    As you can see from the picture with this blog - it was a big success and a fabulous evening!
    It reminds me of why I do what I do. Not just what or how, but WHY.

    I show up to work because every Harper Adams student belongs here.

    I take that as a universal truth, and I hold the responsibility - along with the wider Harper Adams University Students’ Union team - to prove that to each student.

    If they don’t know it’s true, then I have failed them and need to keep working. The international gathering was a small but meaningful win.



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