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Holidays At Harvard Business School

Photo: Harvard Crimson

The Holidays At Harvard Business School

The holiday season looks a little different this year. With travel restrictions in place and much of the US experiencing yet another surge in COVID-19, many b-schools students are left spending their holidays without their families.

The Harbus recently looked at how students at Harvard Business School are spending their holiday season this year without their loved ones.


For many international students, traveling back home during this time is simply not plausible or safe. But those who decide to stay on campus for the holidays aren’t alone.

Yarden Halperin, HBS MBA Class of 2022, decided not to see her family in Israel this year. In turn, Halperin says, she had a unique opportunity to experience the holidays of other cultures.

“It is great to be here and celebrate other cultures,” Halperin tells Harbus. “I can’t imagine I’ll ever get another opportunity to experience so many new holidays.”

Halperin says she was able to experience Diwali with other classmates and, in exchange, hopes to introduce her friends to Hanukkah.

“I am planning on making traditional foods like homemade donuts and lighting the candles with friends who have never celebrated the holiday before,” she tells Harbus.

And while holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are often widely celebrated in Western countries, many other countries don’t partake in celebrating. In turn, many international students who have stayed on campus have been able to experience the holidays that they wouldn’t normally celebrate in their home countries.

“I think this is such an exciting opportunity to be able to have unique experiences with different cultures and new people,” Zehra Soysal, HBS MBA Class of 2022, tells Harbus.


For many, this year is the first time they’ve spent winter break away from family. And while they may be apart from loved ones, many students are just grateful to be safe at HBS.

“HBS is one of the best places in the world to be in right now,” Ramya Sundar, HBS MBA Class of 2022, tells Harbus. “I am grateful that I am here and not somewhere else. If that means having to spend the holidays away from my family and not travel, I think the tradeoff is worth it.”

Adding a little holiday spirit just to make HBS feel more like home doesn’t hurt either.

“We are dedicated to making Cambridge feel like our home, Brooke Baker, a partner at HBS, tells Harbus. “We are going to put up a tree and get some holiday decorations in order to make it feel homey.”

Sources: Harbus, The New York Times, WBUR

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