Saint Peter High School has a long tradition of having foreign exchange students spend the school year here and this year that tradition continues with two exchange students attending classes here at SPHS..
Tom Boerner from Hamburg, Germany, and Mario Ciancio Sanfilippo, from Catania, Italy, are members of this year’s senior class. The following is a Q&A profile of those two students:
Host family -- Kris & James Sack of St. Peter
Family members -- father, Jan; mother, Claudia, and sister, Lina, 20.
Parents’ occupation(s) -- My father is director of parts for Jungheinrich, the third-largest forklift truck company in the world, and my mother is a nurse for a doctor.
How many people live in your hometown? Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany with approximately 1.8 million people
How many times have you been to the U.S. prior to your stay here in St. Peter? I have been to the U.S. four other times -- visiting Florida, New York and Boston, California, and Las Vegas.
What are your impressions of life at Saint Peter High School now that you have been here for more than a month? The school is beautiful and most lessons are very exciting. The students are all really friendly and helpful and the the teachers and all other staff have been great as well. This is the best school I have ever been to!
What are your favorite classes and who are some of your favorite teachers here at SPHS? My favorite class here, at the moment, is personal finance. Back in Germany it was chemistry. My favorite teachers here, so far, are Mr. Schoenborn and Mrs. Annexstad.
What other activities will you participate in during your time here at SPHS? In fall I played goalkeeper for the Saints’ C squad soccer team. In winter I will play basketball and in the spring I’m thinking about trying trapshooting or baseball.
What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies outside of school? Back in Germany, I was a firefighter, which was really the only activity I did outside of the school.
Is there any particular activity you would like to do or place you’d like to visit during your time here in Minnesota? Yes, I would like to try ice fishing and deer hunting. I would also like to visit Duluth.
What do you miss most about your life back home? Actually I am surprised about how little I miss from back home. I do miss my dog and my parents and also my fire department because they are very nice and we have a lot of fun.
How often do you stay in touch with your family/friends back home? I stay in contact with my parents and some friends every day through messages over an app called WhatsApp. I also Skype every month with my parents, my grandparents, and some friends, but I try not use Skype too much.
MARIO CIANCIO SANFILIPPO
Host family -- Mike & Karen Leeb of rural Kasota.
Family members -- father, Domenico; mother, Paola; brother Alberto, 13; and sister, Ada, 8; and pet dog, Pedro!
Parents’ occupation(s) -- My father is editor of the local newspaper in Sicily and my mother is a doctor.
How many people live in your hometown? My hometown of Catania has about one million people and is located on the Italian island of Sicily. Catania is near the volcano ‘Etna’, the biggest active volcano in all of Europe.
How many times have you been to the U.S. prior to your stay here in St. Peter? I visited the U.S. one other time, four years ago when we visited New York City and Boston.
What are your impressions of life at Saint Peter High School now that you have been here for more than a month? Here, I really love the school, the people and my classes. It’s really different from those in Italy.
What are your favorite classes/teachers here at SPHS? It’s very hard to say which are my favorite teachers and my favorite classes, but I really like my AP chemistry class with Mrs. Roehrkasse and math class with Mr. Kennedy.
What other activities will you participate in during your time here at SPHS? I played soccer with Mr. Bollum as a fall sport and I will probably play basketball in winter.
What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies outside of school? I really like to watch and to support the football team on Friday night with my school friends because it’s a good way to spend some time together.
Is there any particular activity you would like to do or place you’d like to visit during your time here in Minnesota? This winter I really want to go to ice fishing because it’s something new and unusual for me.
What do you miss most about your life back home? Naturally, I miss my life back home and in particular my family and the warm weather, but I’m having a good time here also, thanks to all people that support me everyday from here and from Sicily.
How often do you stay in touch with your family/friends back home? I really don’t know how often I stay in touch with my family and my friends, but, we call each other approximately once a week with Skype or message through WhatsApp.