Remote Students on the Food They Miss the Most

Despite access to some of the best food in the world, international students who are studying remotely from all over the globe miss the Williston community, and especially the food.

The Williston community is composed of students from 30 different countries. International students come from all kinds of backgrounds, from small towns to metropolitan cities, all with unique cultures and food.

Missing home and home-cooked food is a repeated topic among boarding students at Williston. Students love to go to places around campus, like Dunkin’ Donuts, Tandem, and Kisara, as a complement to their school meals.

Due to the global pandemic Covid-19, however, many international students are studying remote at home, because obstacles such as travel restrictions are hindering them from going back to school.

While they are enjoying meals at home every day, many of them express that they actually miss food from places around Williston.

Kiko Xu, a sophomore from Beijing, China, misses Tandem. Tandem Bagel Company in Easthampton is on Railroad Street, right across the street from Schoolhouse, and is often visited by students during the school day.

Kiko especially misses how she could visit Tandem for lunch. “Because it is near where we have math and English classes,” she said, “I go there whenever I have time during lunch block.”

“Also, their sandwich is just so good!” she added.

She lives in Beijing, which is the world’s most populous capital city. There are a variety of styles of cooking that she can easily access nearby. However, living in such a city with so many choices of food, she is still reminiscent of the food she could get around Williston.

“I still constantly think of the food we could get around Williston,” she said, “like, I cherish the memories of getting food [around campus].”

I Hang U, a junior from Macau, China, misses “Kisara, his friends, and the town vibe.”

Kisara Japanese & Korean Restaurant is a popular place in Easthampton where students can visit on foot and get sushi, rolls, and ramen.

I Hang is a full time vegan since birth, and he misses vegan options that he can’t get in Macau. “I mean no not really [any special food], but like at least they have vegan options in restaurants,” he said, “while a lot of Japanese restaurants don’t have [vegan options] in Macau.”

While there are many high-quality restaurants in Macau, I Hang believes that restaurants in Easthampton do a better job with vegan food. “Well, there are less quantity in terms of vegan food,” he said, “but quality [of food] is definitely higher than in Macau.”

Sophie Calderon, a senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, misses dining out at all the local restaurants.

“I’ve been dreaming about the tres leches cake from Veracruzana for like a month now I swear,” Sophie said. La Veracruzana is a Mexican restaurant on Union Street in Easthampton.

“I miss Tandem too, the sticky smell and the break from the routine of the dining hall,” she added.

Anita Hua, a junior from Shanghai, China, “miss[es] Tandem the most,” referring to it as “a specialty of Williston.”

Anita misses the smell, and the bagels brought her memories of school when she was studying remote. “The bagels smell really good,” she said that before she was able to make it to campus, “it remind[ed] me of the good times at school.”

Anita also thinks highly of Oriental Taste in Northampton, a restaurant with mainly Chinese and other East Asian food. “Oriental taste is a big attraction for Asian students in general,” she commented.

She explained that the reason she likes Oriental Taste is that “they have a variety of dishes, and the flavors are authentic.”

Anita pointed out that as a Shanghainese, she actually does like the food in the towns of Easthampton and Northampton for their authenticity. “I think it’s because some chefs are Asian for Oriental Taste and Kisara.”