Jonas Kaiser of Frankfurt, Germany, is spending three weeks of his summer vacation touring the States and visiting friends. Jonas first came to the United States in 2004 and spent one year here as a foreign exchange student.
During his stay, he lived with the Lewandowski family near Mason City and attended high school in Ansley. After his time was up, he returned to Germany to begin college.
Currently, Jonas is in his third semester at a university where heâ€™s studying to become a teacher. Heâ€™s decided to focus on earning a degree in both the English language and Physical Education. He plans to use his degrees to teach English to German students 10-16 years old. His ambition for doing so came about after his initial stay here.
â€śI realized itâ€™s important for people to learn another language, so they can experience a different culture,â€ť Jonas remarked.
For this years summer vacation, Jonas decided to come back to America to visit friends and do some more traveling. When asked what would fill the three weeks, Jonas said he had spent his first ten days staying with the Lewandowskiâ€™s and reconnecting with his former classmates. Next Jonas will be flying to Phoenix, where heâ€™ll meet up with another German student, whoâ€™s also previously studied in the States. After spending a few days in Phoenix, the boys plan to rent a car and drive to California, where they will spend the remainder of their vacation before flying home.
When asked how heâ€™d gone about arranging his visit, Jonas said it was easy. All he had to do was renew his passport and buy the plane tickets. The funding for the trip came from his job where heâ€™s worked for the past three months. His place of employment is a newly opened Hollister, an American brand clothing line and retail store. He then joked, â€śAmerica gave me the money to revisit America!â€ť
When discussing what prompted the return, Jonas said heâ€™s always planned to come back. He enjoys the openness of the country as opposed to the heavily populated city he lives in. One of his favorite things to do is to sit out on the Lewandowskiâ€™s porch and look around.
â€śThey have a beautiful house, its part of the reason I just had to come back here,â€ť Jonas explained.
On Oct. 18, Jonas will catch a plane back to Germany, where he will resume his studies.
For now, it seems his plan is to continue living and working in his home country. In the future, Jonas hopes to return someday to visit again, but until then he will have to be content with keeping in touch with friends through emails and facebook.