Federico Zimmerman, affectionately known as “Fede” to his classmates and teammates at Saint Peter High School, is winding down his semester-long stay here in St. Peter. He lives with his host family, Sheila and Jeff Anderson and their son, Marty, a junior at SPHS, along with their daughters and SPHS alums Maggie, Lillian, and Greta.
It has been a whirlwind semester for the senior exchange student, but he is enjoying being a part of life here at SPHS, including being a member of the varsity boys tennis team.
Fede’s parents, Daniel and Lourdes, and siblings (brother, Facundo, and sister, Ainhoa) reside in San Genaro, which is similar to St. Peter in size with a population of around 12,000 people.
“My father is an office worker related to logistics, while my mother is retired now but she worked as a math and physics professor,” Fede said. “My siblings and I are triplets!”
The following is a Q&A profile about Fede and his time here at SPHS:
* What are your hobbies and interests? Studying English is one of my hobbies. I’ve studied English for 9 years. I used to do many things related to English back in Argentina like reading books, watching shows or movies with the audio and subtitles in English. And my other hobby is playing tennis. I’ve played tennis for nine years.
* When did you start classes at Saint Peter High School? I started classes on January 18th
* What is/are your favorite class(es) here at SPHS? Probably English and history
* What activities are you involved with here? I’m playing tennis
* Have you visited the U.S. before? No, I always wanted to but this is my first time here
* What was the biggest adjustment(s) you had to make when you moved here for this semester? At first I thought I was going to struggle with school, I mean, taking classes such as English, history, algebra in another language, but I’ve done fine. Besides that, when I arrived here, as a non-English native speaker, I had to concentrate and pay attention if somebody was talking to me so I could understand what they were saying. I also got nervous when I had to talk, but now I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and focus on that to understand what someone's saying or what’s going on.
* Are there any new things you've tried here that you've really enjoyed? Playing tennis on the school team. In Argentina, we don’t have sports at school, teams or competitions as you do here. We just have physical education (PE) but it’s way different. It’s just one more subject on your (class) schedule. I’ve never played tennis on a team nor did I have teammates cheering or coaches like the ones I have here.
I went to the “Sadies 22” dance for Valentine’s Day. We don’t have that in Argentina. I also went to the Spanish camp and to Prom, which were a lot of fun.
* What do you miss most about life in Argentina? I talk to my family every day so I’m ok with that but I miss hanging out with friends, also the food.
* Will you have to return to high school back in Argentina or will you move on to college or post-secondary school? In Argentina, we start classes in March and finish in November. I’ll have to finish the other half of the year since I'm doing my first half of the year here.
* Is there anywhere here in the U.S. you'd like to visit before returning back to Argentina? I really don’t know. I went to Disney in Florida with Sheila, my host-mom, and I loved that trip so that was good enough. I would love to come back here and visit other states.