Home away from home

German student to spend school year in Orange


LeAnn Rodgers

Freya Jonas is a foreign exchange student from Germany who has loved her experience in America so far.

LeAnn Rodgers, Photo Editor

Changing houses or even schools can be a scary thing. For sophomore Freya Jonas, she has not only changed countries, but has adapted well and made herself at home in Orange. She is a foreign exchange student from Germany who will be spending the rest of the school year as an LCM Bear.

According to Jonas, she has loved her time in America so far, even though things are very different from her homeland. She said Americans are much friendlier than Germans, who can be cold or rude without really meaning to be.

“Germany is really different from America,” Jonas said. “We have trains and busses, and the atmosphere is different.”

Jonas said the process of becoming an exchange student requires a lot of paperwork and waiting to find host families, who the student will live with during his or her time away. Her current host family, the Oldbury family, actually has a daughter here in the same grade as Jonas. 

“They are amazing,” Jonas said of her host family. “They treat me like family.” 

Jonas said the schools are completely different in Germany, so that has been an adjustment for her. In Germany, they have 12 classes per day and every day’s schedule is different throughout the week. They also have oral grades and no daily grades. As far as her overall experience goes, Jonas is very impressed with America so far. 

“The food here is amazing and the people are really kind,” she said. “I like school a lot. It’s better than in Germany.” 

In her free time, Jonas likes to do calisthenics, which is a more difficult type of gymnastics using one’s body weight only, using a 360 bar or a lever. She also likes kicking the ball around and playing soccer with others. 

I love the people and my friends.

“It makes me happy and I love playing with others,” Jonas said. “It’s so much fun and makes me feel free. I can escape reality and concentrate on the ball.”

Jonas also loves Anime and Geshin Impact, an action and role-playing game. She enjoys the hard work that the animator put into bringing the characters to life.

“The characters look great and since it’s not real, I relate to it in a different way,” Jonas said.

According to Jonas, she loves it so much in America that she does not want to go back to Germany at the end of the school year.

“I love the people and my friends,” she said. “It’s the way everyone acts really kind and I like being around the people here.”