Far from home, but still celebrating the 4th

Northeastern University students on international co-ops may be scattered in dozens of countries around the globe, but that isn’t stopping them from celebrating Independence Day this weekend.

Third-year cinema studies major Kelsey Julius, for example, plans to throw a picnic in a park in Paris with her co-workers at a European public relations firm. Burgers, hot dogs and American flag cupcakes are slated to appear on the menu.

“I will continue the festivities with some ridiculous ‘I Love America’ outfit and some kind of fattening treat to share a piece of home with my co-workers,” Julius said.

Junior marketing major Brittany Waitte will be in the middle of the largest inner city festival in Germany, which concludes with a stunning fireworks display.

The pyrotechnic extravaganza, she said, will be a welcome reminder of summers in the states.

“This celebration will bridge the gap between the two cultures for me,” said Waitte, who is working at a marketing and human relations firm in Darmstadt. “Granted, I will be eating bratwurst and crepes instead of hamburgers and s’mores.”

But the holiday falls at a time when many co-op jobs are ending, prompting Northeastern students like third-year anthropology and international affairs major Rebecca Willett to focus more on finishing their global co-op experiences on a high note, and less on thoughts of hometown parades and fireworks.

Willett will spend the weekend traveling back to a bilingual school Ocotepeque, Honduras, where she teaches phonics and grammar.

“I’m having a blast traveling by bus and meeting lots of other travelers and local people,” said Willett, who took advantage of a two-week school break to travel solo through Honduras and Nicaragua. “I will actually be spending Independence Day on a sweaty 10-hour bus ride from Tegucigalpa back west to Ocotepeque.”