The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Friends from afar

SHS students keep in contact with former exchange students

Not many students imagine themselves becoming friends with a foreign exchange student. Senior Meredith Ziegler thought the same thing until

Senior Meredith Ziegler (left), Mariah Haley (right) and former exchange student Johanna Krick (middle) reunite in Amsterdam. Ziegler was on a school-affiliated trip in Europe as Krick drove six hours to see her. Photo provided by Meredith Ziegler.

she met Johanna Krick.

“I never really thought I would be friends with a foreign exchange student,” Ziegler said, “But it was something so random that happened and we just clicked.”

Ziegler met Krick, a former German foreign exchange student, last year at Snowcoming. They exchanged phone numbers afterward and began talking every day.

After Krick’s academic experience at SHS, she had to go back to Germany. Ziegler and Krick are now 4380 miles away from each other. The two friends remain close no matter the distance and have even made plans for Ziegler to reunite with Krick in Germany. Despite the time difference, the two still made time for each other by communicating through text messages, phone calls and social media.

“It’s hard, but she is my best friend so I always stay in touch,” Ziegler said.

When Krick had to leave, Ziegler did her best to stay positive. She reminded herself that this wasn’t the last time they’d see each other.

“It was more like good luck instead of goodbye,” Ziegler said, “because it’s not goodbye because we’ll see each other later.”

Similarly, Junior Zamantha Loza has had multiple foreign exchange students whom she’s had to bid farewell.

Loza was friends with Boglárka Hangai from Hungary and Pablo Cremer from Spain her freshman year, then Maria Buján-Puente from Spain her sophomore year. Loza has been able to maintain contact with her friends since they left.

Junior Zamantha Loza (left) and former exchange student Boglárka Hangai (right) spend time together before Hangai left for Hungary.
Photo provided by Zamantha Loza

“It may be awkward sometimes but it’s still the same friendship we used to have,” Loza said.

Loza wishes she could hang out with her friends in person again. This makes her struggle a bit with the distance between them. Now that they’ve both grown up, they would have more freedom and opportunities to hang out if they weren’t so far apart.

“I wish I could do more stuff with her (Hangai) now that I’m older,” Loza said.

Loza was closest to Hangai. After she went back to Hungary, the two have been able to maintain contact with each other through Facetime calls and daily texts.

After spending a whole year with these people, Loza finds it weird that they’re not around anymore. 

“I just really miss them a lot,” Loza said.

Junior Anna Grehn and her family hosted some foreign exchange students on multiple occasions, most recently Buján-Puente. 

Their relationships have been very similar, but not quite the same. The distance can put a huge toll on how much they communicate.

“We’re still as close,” Grehn said, “Everything is just a little more distant.”

Having friends at such a distance has helped Grehn put into perspective what true friendship is. Even while being oceans apart, they’re able to maintain and keep a strong bond.

Junior Anna Green and former exchange student Maria Buján-Puente at Universal Studios before she left for Spain.
Photo provided by Anna Grehn

“Even with a distance, I can tell you, sometimes the friends you have here aren’t as good as the friends you have there,” Grehn said.

Grehn knows that it wasn’t her last time seeing all of her friends and sisters her family hosted.

She’s been planning to visit them in her senior year so she can reconnect with everyone she has become close to.

“We’re gonna do like a whole entire trip through Europe,” Grehn said, “then I’m going to meet up with all my friends.”

Grehn recommends getting to know the foreign exchange students. They’ve become a large part of her life and have allowed her to make connections she didn’t know she could.

“It might be a little lonely when they leave, but I feel like it gives you a good experience,” Grehn said.




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About the Contributor
Elisabeth Pointer, Culture Reporter
Hi! I’m Elisabeth Pointer. I’m a junior, and this is my second year writing for culture. I never took a journalism class, but after learning about journalistic writing and how to do it, I have really started to love it. I’m a competitive gymnast and have been doing gymnastics for over 10 years. I also coach little kids at my gym to help them with their gymnastics career. I really like animated shows such as “Steven Universe” and “Gravity Falls.” My favorite color is purple, and my favorite animal is a seal. A close second place would be cats. I have a cat named Sassy and a dog named Blair. I have a little brother named Gabe who is in eighth grade. I’m very passionate about school, and my GPA and grades are some of my biggest achievements. I eventually want to major in plant biology and/or molecular genetics. My dream is to become a genetic engineer and to work on creating new medicines in the future.

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