Skip to main content

Saint Louis University Header Logo Center

Menu Search & Directory

SLU-Madrid Celebrates Thanksgiving

by Katie Gortz on 11/28/2019

Nothing beats a traditional turkey dinner for U.S. students away from home on Thanksgiving Day. Each year, SLU-Madrid’s dining services, Unity by Sodexo, caters the meal, roasting hundreds of pounds of turkey, and serving pumpkin soup, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, stuffing, and, of course, cranberry sauce (which is not easy to get in Spain!).

Visiting students Sophia Troeh (Gonzaga University) and Carissa Villanueva (SLU-St. Louis) came together at lunchtime to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal on campus. Celebrating Thanksgiving far from her family proved bittersweet for Troeh. “Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday for my family,” she said. “It’s hard not to be home. For as long as I can remember, we have always done the Turkey Trot, a 5km run that goes on across America on Thanksgiving morning. Honestly, it’s the highlight of my year! Everyone is still sleeping back home in Seattle, but I’ll definitely call later.” For Villanueva, Thanksgiving is a low-key holiday in which her family in Iowa goes out to eat.


Every year, SLU-Madrid’s dining services, Unity by Sodexo, caters a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Students also post notes indicating what they are thankful for this year. 

The turkey lunch proved an ideal moment for Troeh and Villanueva to reflect on the things in their lives they are thankful for. Villanueva mentioned the opportunity to study abroad and travel. As a double major in anthropology and mathematics, she has been able to continue her program of studies and accelerated trajectory to graduate in three years, while spending her free time traveling. Her trip to Morocco is one of the highlights of the semester.

Troeh, who came to SLU-Madrid without knowing anyone, is thankful for the new friends she has made this semester. “Becoming a family together with my eight housemates and our host mom has been really special. This is my second semester abroad, and being away from home for so long would have been really hard without them. Oh, and getting to travel too!” Troeh’s host mom is preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal for them this evening.  

Tapping into the spirit of giving thanks, Student Life recently hosted a food drive to benefit Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of social service organizations that works to build a better world for the poor and the oppressed. The holiday food, clothing and toy drives will begin in a few weeks.