Super Bowl Weekend is upon us. Conversations all week have been about football. With all of the hype surrounding the game, you may find yourself in a bit of culture shock, asking “Just what is all of the fuss about?”
The Super Bowl is a huge part of American culture, but to someone who is new to this country, the attention placed on the Super Bowl can be a bit overwhelming.
Here is some background on what makes the weekend so special:
As the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the premier American football league in the world, the Super Bowl is the largest, most-watched spectacle in American sports.
According to Nielsen, in 2014, Super Bowl 48 was viewed on television by 111.5 million people and more than 82,000 people were in the stands. Twitter lit up, as 25.3 million tweets were sent about the game.
The game itself is exciting, but much of the thrill for Americans comes from events surrounding the play on the field.
As you may have already experienced, the week leading up to the Super Bowl is filled with conversation and predictions about the game. You would be hard-pressed to find a sports channel not focused it.
The sports media hosts “media sessions” throughout the week where players will talk about the game, their opponents and anything else relevant to the championship. Many NFL players dream of playing in a Super Bowl from the time they are children, and want nothing more than to win the prize they’ve focused on their entire lives.
As for the fans, many American families will host friends and families in their homes and watch the game with company. These Super Bowl parties typically involve “grilling out,” where families will fire up the grill and cook hamburgers and hot dogs. The game presents an opportunity for fans to reconnect with old friends to watch football and enjoy American food.
Not a football fan? Don’t worry! Many folks who aren’t avid football fans attend Super Bowl parties for the company, food and fun.
Hopefully you have a better understanding about the big game, and why it is such a huge tradition in American culture. If you still have questions, talk to your host family. They would be glad to answer your questions!
Super Bowl XLIX
Who: The Seattle Seahawks vs. The New England Patriots
When: Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The game is played in Glendale, Arizona, but can be watched on NBC.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is deemed the sport “where greatness happens,” and after last week’s New Oasis International Education trip to see the Washington Wizards square off against the Brooklyn Nets, 11 NOIE students would have to agree.
Jan. 16 was a day full of excitement, thrills and adventure for NOIE students, a set of parents and four NOIE staff members who traveled to the nation’s capital and saw the Washington Wizards, the second-best team in its conference, attempt to thwart the attack of a division rival in its own arena.
The trip, part of NOIE student orientation, served as an opportunity for NOIE students and parents to experience American culture, and meet the New Oasis staff that will support them, while taking in a basketball game and enjoying unlimited American snacks from the stadium’s concession stand.
The main purpose of this orientation is to better prepare students for a successful transition into a new school, culture, and living with a host family.
These trips are an opportunity to introduce them to the New Oasis staff that will support them as well as the New Oasis services available to them during their study abroad experience.
While many of New Oasis International Education’s trips are of the academic nature, coordinators and partner schools routinely plan trips throughout the semester to encourage its students to experience extracurricular activities and continue to expand their awareness of United States culture.
The New Oasis orientation is only the first phase of welcoming students on their study abroad journey. Following the New Oasis orientation at headquarters our local student coordinators work closely with host families, schools, and the community to create a warm welcome for the incoming students.
New Oasis coordinator Kay Gude recently transitioned her role at New Oasis to a student coordinator for Peninsula Catholic High School in Virginia. Kay was excited to organize her first welcome for new students and any parents traveling with them, “This was the first time I’ve been able to work with a natural parent and it was very special.” Kay worked hard, with the help of the host families, to make the students and parents welcome memorable.
When the students arrived at the airport Kay took the opportunity to spend some time with one student’s natural mother by driving her to the hotel separate from the student leaving with the host family. Kay recommends this for any student coordinator, “Having one-on-one time with the natural parent allowed them to open up and share any concerns It was also a great opportunity to reassure the parent that I will be there to help, and take good care of their child”. Kay continued to build a relationship with the mother by presenting her with a welcome basket at the hotel. The basket was filled with comforting items such as hot tea, a personal mug, kumquats, and tangerines.
The host parents hosted the mother and new student their first evening by preparing a traditional American style dinner. The host mother is known for her fabulous baked ziti and enjoyed sharing her tradition with the student and his mother. This hospitality continued over the next days as several host families worked together to organize requirements such as uniform shopping, vaccines, and a tour of the school. The group even attended a Peninsula Catholic basketball game one night!
A special welcome party organized by Kay was the highlight of the visit. Kay worked with the owners of a homestyle Asian restaurant, Ippin Mono Kitchen, to organize a dinner for both new and current New Oasis students and their host families. Kay prepared gift boxes for each student filled with Chinese candies, fruits and novelties. The students took center stage with an honor table in the middle of the restaurant. Families surrounded the honor table and were introduced to one another. This was valuable moment to help form a cohesive community of host families and students attending Peninsula Catholic, “the students rarely get together socially and some families did not know each other. The energy and excitement of the new students re-energized the students who have been studying here. It was great to see phone numbers being exchanged by the end of the night,” commented Kay. For the new student’s natural mother Kay said that to do something with everyone made her feel special. The mother was hugging everyone by the night’s end!
New Oasis is proud of the dedicated student coordinators that work hard to ensure that students, natural parents, and host families are welcomed into the New Oasis community. Kay’s story is just one of the many warm welcomes that our students received this past month. The team at New Oasis is thankful for thoughtful, caring individuals that make our community special.