Aaron Bonner, 21, son of Joseph and Sandy Bonner, Tamaqua, will return to Germany after spending a week in Spain. The world travels of the senior at Penn State University are part of international studies that have kept him abroad all summer long, and are chronicled in a blog he maintains for the benefit of family, friends and his extended family of Tamaqua area residents.
Bonner is majoring in advertising/public relations and double minoring in international studies and business. Currently, he is studying European integration, German, and international business in Germany. He is scheduled to conclude the session and return on August 23.
On his days off, Bonner travels extensively, and keeps in touch with Tamaqua through video chat.
He recently enjoyed a stay on an island off Greece named Kos. His stories, sights and travels are chronicled on his website: http://www.aaronbonner.blogspot.com.
The blog focuses on the history, lifestyle and cultural elements of Europe, and his personal observations and interpretations.
Bonner supplements the blog with an extensive array of colorful photography featuring sites of interest.
Following is a sample excerpt from the site, written after visiting a financial center in Germany:
"In Frankfurt, we had a busy schedule which started off at the European Central Bank with an assembly of students from near and far. It was an interesting presentation which gave the history of the Euro, the current conditions of the economic crisis, as well as some other information about the central banking system. This particular stop during our trip interested me because I am interested in different types of currency from around the world. I started to collect coins when I visited Germany three years ago. The gift shop at the ECB had a lot of coins which were no longer in circulation due to the Euro. I took this opportunity to find as many interesting coins from around Europe and add them to my collection."
Bonner serves as account executive for the Daily Collegian and will join the paper's creative department in the coming school year. He said the decision to travel abroad was the result of planning.
"In February of 2010, I decided to minor in International Studies which requires 12 study abroad credits in a foreign country. I decided to apply for two studies in Germany for the summer of 2010. Previously, I had traveled to Germany for two weeks after my high school graduation. I also took four years of Germany language in high school and three credits at Penn State. The following month, I was accepted into both programs which would begin on May 17 and end on August 21," he said.
"Currently, I am in the middle of my studies, having just completed the first program at Pforzheim. The program lasted six weeks with a focus on European integration and international economics. There was also a German course as well as field trips to companies and institutions throughout Germany. The program itinerary was extremely detailed and well thought out. A few trips that stood out was our visit to the BMW production facility and museum in Munich, a four-day trip to Berlin to visit the city rich in history and culture, and also a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, which was accompanied by a boat tour of the city."
Bonner said he eventually hopes to find a job in advertising or public relations in the music industry.
"With my international studies minor, I wouldn't be hesitant to take a job overseas, especially since I will have experienced the European culture for over three months."
Bonner is a 2007 graduate of Tamaqua Area High School.