Exchange Student Interviews


Cullin Egge, Editor

This year, we have had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the company of many exchange students from Austria, Guatemala, and Japan. They will be departing this week, so we here at the Prep Post decided it would be a good idea to sit down and chat with some of them about their experience at SJP. I interviewed Cristina Salazar, Rafaela Fridrich, Nicolas Adam, Felix Huber, and Sandra Reidl. Cristina is from Guatemala City, Guatemala; Rafaela is from Poechlarn, Austria; Nicolas is from Freinigau, Austria; Felix is from St. Margarethen, Austria; and Sandra is from Mauer, Austria. Cristina is a senior this year, while the others are all sophmores. We will miss them all dearly as they depart for home!

First of all, how have you enjoyed your time at Prep, and what were your favorite and least favorite parts?

Cristina: I really enjoyed it here! My favorite thing was that I could switch classes, and I really liked the teachers. My least favorite thing was that there weren’t very many sports.

Rafi: It was an amazing experience, and I’m super happy that I came here. I really liked that I met so many new people and made new friends, as well as the relationships I formed with my teachers that I wouldn’t have in Austria. I did not like the curfews at the dorm.

Nico: My time at Prep was amazing, I really enjoyed my 4 months and it was a completely new experience for me. My favorite part was making new friends who made my time great here, and I really loved to play in the soccer team. My least favorite part was that the dorms didn’t have windows. 

Felix: I really enjoyed my time at Prep, and wish I could stay longer. My favorite parts were soccer and basketball games — especially the bus rides. My least favorite part was the dorm rules.

Sandra: I really liked my time at Prep. My favorite part was the teachers being so friendly and willing to help, as well as the ability to choose your own classes. My least favorite part was all of the homework, much more than we had in Austria.


What were some opportunities you had at Prep that you may not have had back home?

Cristina: I learned to play the saxophone here, and I could not have done that back home.

Rafi: I got to be on an actual sports team (cross country). Spirit day was really fun too!

Nico: Here I was able to speak English every day.

Felix: I had the opportunity to go flying in a small plane with Drew, that was fun.

Sandra: I only had to take six classes at Prep. In Austria, I would’ve been taking 13!


What do you miss most about home?

Cristina: I really miss my family and friends.

Rafi: I miss most my family and friends.

Nico: I miss my friends, family, dogs, and the food!

Felix: I miss my independence, woodwork shop, and small motorcycle back home.

Sandra: I really miss my friends! 


What foods do you miss from home? What was a food you liked that you tried here that you hadn’t before?

Cristina: I miss tortillas with cheese. Mmm! Here I tried tater-tot hotdish for the first time, and it was sooo good!

Rafi: I miss schnitzel, and I will really miss Chipotle when I go home.

Nico: I miss schnitzel!

Felix: I miss apricot dumplings. I won’t miss eating reef for every meal, but I will miss the cheeseburgers.

Sandra: Austrian food is so much better than American food; I don’t think I’ll miss the food here.


Who will you miss most from Prep when you’re gone?

Cristina: Anna! We can talk about anything and really trust each other. We get along super well — better than I ever would have thought.

Rafi: I’ll miss all of the friends I made here, as well as the dormers.

Nico: I will miss my friends a lot.

Felix: I’ll miss my friends here. 

Sandra: I will miss all of my new friends.


What has Prep taught you in your time here?

Cristina: Mainly because of all the homework, Prep has taught me to be really responsible in school. The teachers work well to get you on the right track.

Rafi: Prep has taught me that I can live without my parents. It also showed me that the relationship with teachers can be really different than in Austria. I learned there are many differences between European and American lifestyles.

Nico: I have improved my English skills here, but also my social skills. Because of living in the dorms, I had to make my own decisions, do my own laundry, and settle disputes. I had to be responsible for myself.

Felix: I learned to be more organized and more self-initiated, as well as how awesome it is to have classes with people from different grades.

Sandra: Prep taught me that it doesn’t matter where you come from or your beliefs; you are always welcome in the Prep community.


Would you come back someday if you had the opportunity to?

Cristina: If I could, I would love to come back!

Rafi: I would definitely come back some day, because my time here was great.

Nico: I would definitely come back. 

Felix: I will definitely come back some day, if I have the time.

Sandra: I would really like to come back and visit all the people again.


Any last words before you head home?

Cristina: Even though the time we had was short, I thank you so much for it! I had such a good time here.

Rafi: Thanks so much to everyone who made my time here amazing, especially to all the peer mentors who helped me a lot in my first week. Also, thank you to the teachers who had patience and were really nice. I’m going to miss you all.

Nico: I just want to say thank you to everybody. Thank you to all students and faculty members, because the 4 months were amazing. I really loved it, and will miss it.

Felix: Totally worth it!

Sandra: I’d like to say thank you to everyone who made my time here so beautiful and unique.