MONROE -- School may be closed, but the Thanksgiving spirit is still strong at ULM on Thursday.
One campus organization is making sure those who couldn't make it home to their families this week, still get a chance to enjoy a huge thanksgiving feast.
For Abhita Malaviya, a native of India, it's the first thanksgiving she's ever celebrating.
"I'm a PhD student so I didn't really have any work in the lab," she said. "We wanted to try the American way of celebrating."
The third year pharmacy student is sitting down to a full course thanksgiving meal with her friends, made possible by ULM's Wesley Foundation.
"We're having a thanksgiving lunch for any of the students who don't have the opportunity to go home, and especially international students because there's no way they can go home," said group leader Michael Martin.
It's the second year in the making for the foundation's thanksgiving feast, and volunteers started cooking early Wednesday morning.
The feast includes all of the fixin's, including corn, green beans, an assortment of desserts, and five differently flavored turkeys. The food is donated by churches throughout the area, and the foundation had enough food on Thursday to serve 200.
For some, it's even their first taste of pumpkin or sweet potato pie.
"It was kind of neat to show them that, and they really enjoyed it," Martin said.
Malaviya says it's great to see how the holiday is observed, and says she is thankful.
"I'm thankful for a lot, everything that's in my life, the fact that I'm studying here," she said.
And says she's happy to celebrate with friends that have become her family, away from home.
"They are pretty much because I haven't seen my parents in almost two years now," she said.
Her friend -- Baher Ibrahim, studying abroad from Egypt -- agrees.
"I consider all of them as a family, so we will not feel lonely anymore," he said.