Foreign Exchange Students Sent Home Over Spring Break


Daria Bauer posing in the street on her first ever trip to New York City!

Jordan Myers, Associate Editor-in-Chief

Coming to the United States meant leaving behind her friends, family, and her home in Berlin, Germany. She put her best foot forth to plan a better future for herself and create bigger and better opportunities, however, those plans were put to a dramatic and unforeseen stop.

On the morning of March 12th, 2020, Sahuaro junior and star-student Daria Bauer was informed via email that she would be sent back to her home country in less than a day out of concerns regarding the formidable pandemic of COVID-19. Through tears, giving Daria one last school day to say her goodbyes to classmates and dear friends who she planned on graduating with together in May, she heartbrokenly said, “I could count on everybody and they would help me with whatever I needed here. It’s a huge shock and I was only informed just an hour ago that I would be forced to go in less than twenty-four hours.”

Daria visited the Statue of Liberty in 2019!

Through Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), Daria was able to come to Tucson and start at Sahuaro High School. She was scheduled to return to Berlin just days after the last day of school, however, the American and German governments decided it was best for her to return home for her own safety amidst the growing pandemic.

Before her flight home, Daria’s mother and house family desperately tried to do everything in their power to block the order home by pulling her out of the program but, unfortunately, they were not successful in doing so. By pulling her out of the program, they would have also pulled the funding for the flight and have to pay for the flight themselves.  In light of what we all now know about all schools closing, it seems like the best decision was made.

In her time here, Daria lived with her house family who had generously offered to pay her way back to Tucson as she works on permanently staying in the U.S.

Windy day in NYC!

Daria still had many places and things to check off of her bucket list before she was suddenly sent home. “I planned on seeing the Grand Canyon and driving up to Las Vegas, maybe even going on a really pretty hike but now everything seems so impossible now,” she stated.

Back in Berlin, Germany, home is not as it was with public health restrictions controlling everyday life. She explained, “We’re only allowed to go out in a ‘group’ of two people, not allowed to be close to anyone, we can’t enter buses through the front door, schools are closed, and they only let a select few people into stores and we often find ourselves having to wait in lines outside the buildings.”  This all seemed unfathomable…until it happened to us as well.

Daria will be missed by many in her time away…

“Being back home was super weird at the beginning… It felt like I had just arrived home after a long trip and the U.S. never happened,” she said. During her time here and in the exchange program she made many friends experiencing the same things as she was all at the same time. They have all been sent back home and feel the exact same way as she does being back.

“I more than anything want to come back, but there is nothing I can plan at the moment. I have no idea when I will go back to school or even graduate,” she said. “Now that I am back home, I don’t even know if I will be receiving a scholarship to the University of Arizona.”

Even though COVID-19 has hijacked many futures including her own, she is still persistent in coming back to Tucson as a Wildcat! “I’m coming back! I will have to! It’s not even a question. I will try my hardest and apply to the U of A International Scholarship! See you sometime!”

We definitely look forward to seeing what the future holds for you and the many other foreign exchange students in the same situation as you. We hope to see you sometime soon! – The Paper Cut <3