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Jonathan Wong Angles in America

February, 2009

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Jonathan Wong as February's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture.

Like many J-1 Exchange visitors, Jonathan (Kang Juang) Wong, 43 of Singapore, was anxious about all of the unknowns training in Franklin, Massachusetts in electronics industry held. Today, however, he finds the challenges rewarding and becomes more excited the more his training progresses.

You could say that Jonathan enjoys a good challenge. Outside the office, you can find Jonathan with a reel in his hand taking his chances ice fishing on one of the many lakes near Franklin. Jonathan is an angler, another word for fisherman. Angling, by definition, is a method of fishing by means of an "angle" or hook. A member of the Franklin Rod and Gun Club, Inc., Jonathan has always been an avid angler and was surprised when he discovered that his coworkers always enjoyed fishing.

"I am glad to find that many of my colleagues are avid anglers," Jonathan said, "as I enjoy fishing very much. New England's weather is cold, but it can be fantastic on a sunny day. With friends, ice fishing is a great outing on weekends. I was surprised that some of my colleagues are members of the club. It is a great club to meet people weekly; anything from a beer, fishing or to help out in the local community. Often, there are game suppers or meetings on club matters."

Aside from fishing and being involved in local community projects, Jonathan also enjoys talking pictures in nearby places such as Springfield, Rhode Island and Cape Cod. He constantly sends pictures back to Singapore to share with his friends and local community.

According to Jonathan, a little initiative goes a long way. Getting involved in his local community has helped Jonathan learn more about American culture and make new friends along the way.

"While building working relationships, it is important to understand, appreciate and accept the differences in cultures," Jonathan said. "Fundamentally people are the same but their practices may vary. It is always interesting to talk about our differences and the meaning of certain practices and it helps to improve communication. Interacting with the locals also allows me to better understand American core values. Especially in this tough economic situation, it is good to discuss the issues and to overcome this tough time together."