Before I went on a winter break I had to go through a stressfull finals week (It actually wasn't that bad). Finals week is a week when you take a final in every single class you take (duh). It may differ from school to school, but mine weren't that hard. So, I didn't really stress about them and you guys shouldn't either. Of course, you need to maintain a certain average, but don't be just locked in your room all night studying instead of having fun with your friends or family. Most of them are multiple choice, or I was even allowed to use my notebook for my English class. So, if you were paying at least a little attention to the classes, you will be just fine .
Christmas in America is, at least in my opinion, quite a big deal. People start decorating their house pretty much right after Thanksgiving (almost a month ahead). And most of them are really pretty! They put way more stuff on their houses than we do in Europe. They also celebrate it on the morning of the 25th, which was for me a bit surprising, since I'm used to celebrating it all on the 24th.
If you didn't know what to buy your host family for gifts rest assured, I had no clue either. Just remember, it's not about the prize it's the thought that counts. I, personally, bought my hostmom a cookbook with recipes from my homecountry. I also wrote a little note inside and marked all of my favorites and the most "typical" recipes in there. Shopping for my hostdad was the easiest, he asked me for a specific shirt, so I got him that.
Christmas also means meeting a lot of family members. Which is usually a lot of fun. We, for example, made our own ugly christmas sweaters.
In the end, I know I have already kind of talked about homesickness in my last post. I just want to mention that a lot of exchange students might get homesick during the holidays, and if you do, don't be scared to reach out to people. If it is your hostfamily, friends, local coordinator or other exchange students. They all are there for you.
“I'm not telling you it's going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.”