Meet our new foreign exchange students this year

Lauren McColley, News Editor

Many of you may know the foreign exchange students this year, however, if you have not had the opportunity to talk to them this year, here is an overview of a few of their experiences so far. 

Jennifer Lotti 

From: Italy

Lotti wanted to participate in the foreign exchange program in order to improve her English, skip a year of Italian school, which is extremely hard, become more independent and learn a new culture. Her experience is good so far and she has met some nice people. Lotti does not have a favorite part so far, but she does like the afternoon and evening because she hangs out with her friends and she has practice. Lotti said, “Every day is a new experience when you start learning more about a different culture, so every day is fun.” 


Malin Schwarzmeier 

From: Germany

Schwarzmeier got the idea to come to the United States when she was twelve years old for the experience. She is taking a year off because she has already graduated and she begins working when she returns home. Schwarzmeier says she has a really nice host family and the experience is really good so far. “I think school here is so much more fun because I can actually choose what I want to do besides the things I have to,” Schwarzmeier said. She has made a lot of fun memories with her friends and she hopes the friendships will continue when she goes back to Germany. 


Jenni Matikaine

From: Finland

Matikaine has been wanting to participate in the foreign exchange program since she was about 13 years old. She thought it would be cool to live in a different country and get to really know their culture. Matikaine also says it is a great way to improve her English. “I love adventures and I just like the idea of jumping into the new world!” Matikaine said. Her experience has been great so far. She loves her host family and our school! Matikaine says cheer is one of the coolest activities she has ever done. “My favorite part of my everyday life is definitely cheer practices and spending time with friends and family!” Matikaine said. She got the chance to go to Mackinaw City, which she thought was a very pretty place. A couple of highlights of her experience so far were going to an NHL game with her friends and going to Niles Haunted House during Halloween. Matikaine went to a drive-in movie with her mom and host sister. “I ate the best popcorn I’ve ever had and it was so cool that you could hear the sounds of the movie from the car radio,” Matikaine said. “I want to add that breadsticks here are the best thing that has ever happened to me. They should have them in Finland too or at least if they do I have never seen them.” 

Sara Estrada

From: Spain 

Estrada came to the United States because she wanted to learn English and about other cultures. She also said the movies here looked so cool! Estrada says she is having so much fun here and the experience is so cool. She has made new friends and everyone is so nice. She loves her host family. Her favorite part here is school, cheer, and friends. Some of her favorite memories so far are going to Florida with her host family, skiing, and hanging out with friends. “Being here is the best thing that somebody can do,” Estrada said. 


Gerrit Bibow

From: Hamburg, Germany 

Bibow says he was curious about the whole experience and he wanted to speak English more fluently. His experience is great so far and he loves the sports that he is playing this year. His favorite part so far is swim practice. Some of his favorite memories are visiting games and going out for lunch. He also really enjoyed going to swim meets because the team has a lot of school spirit. 




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