Missing My Second Home


Karly Wangler, Staff Writer

Alliance high school opens doors for many people through the different programs available. One program allows foreign exchange students to attend school in Alliance for a year. This is beneficial for both the foreign exchange student and the students who already attend school at AHS. It allows the foreign exchange student to grow as an individual and learn more about the United States. For the students already attending Alliance High, it allows them to build friendships with people outside of our country. Due to Covid-19, foreign exchange students were not allowed to attend high school in Alliance this year. When interviewed, two students that attended in the past could not express enough just how much they missed Alliance.

Lara Rieger has many things that she misses about going to school in Alliance. She stated, “I miss Alliance a lot, especially because life in Germany is very different. School is less fun since we don’t have high school games or school spirit in general. We all have to take the same classes and there are no ‘fun’ classes like weights for example.”Another student, Laura Nieseler, had a lot to say. She explained, “It was very hard when I left Alliance, because it was like my second, even better life. But now, one and a half years later, I’m basically back to normal, which makes me sad sometimes.” Many friends and relationships are made through this program, and they can be very hard to leave.

Some foreign exchange students wish they could travel back, but with Covid-19 still raging through our country, it has made it impossible for them to visit. Nieseler stated, “I totally miss Alliance and would come back any time! I was planning on traveling back in July, but I do not think it will work out due to the CoronaVirus.” Rieger also planned on visiting again during her fall break in Germany, but could not because of the virus.

They described that leaving both locations was hard for them. Rieger said, “It didn’t feel real to me at all. When I left Germany to come to Alliance, I knew I would come back after ten months. When I left Alliance, I did not know when I would be back, and that made it a lot harder. It was kind of like a roller coaster of emotions, because I was sad to leave my ‘second home’ in Alliance. I was excited to see my family and friends in Germany again, but after I got used to life in Germany again, I started missing America even more.” It is hard for students to leave a family that they have grown to love over the past ten months that they lived in Alliance. Nieseler added, “I still talk to my host family, at least as much as we can with the huge time difference. Sometimes I still talk to my friends in Alliance, but not that much anymore. I have so many amazing memories from Alliance.” Both girls agree that it was an opportunity that they are glad they took!

All AHS students are grateful for the opportunity to get to know students from other countries. If you got to know a foreign exchange student that used to attend Alliance High School, get ahold of them, I am sure they would appreciate it. To all foreign exchange students who have gone home, you are greatly missed by everyone at AHS!