Herald JournalHerald Journal, Oct. 27, 2003

LP graduate keeping her promise of returning

By Julie Yurek

After traveling to Europe three years ago, Laura Angvall knew she would return.

Her chance will come five days before Christmas, when she leaves for Germany, and then on to Sweden, where she will study abroad for one semester at Örebro University in Sweden.

Angvall, 20, of Lester Prairie, is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul campus. She is majoring in health communication with a minor in foreign studies.

She and her family, parents Eric and Judy, and younger sister Emily, traveled to Europe for three weeks after Laura's high school graduation.

They went to Sweden and visited Johan Hedlund, who was a foreign exchange student who lived with them about five years ago.

"I said that I would come back as soon as I possibly could," Angvall said.

Her favorite part of traveling is meeting the local people, she said. She only spent one week in Sweden when she was with her family, so she is excited to see more of the country.

Angvall leaves Saturday, Dec. 20 for Germany, where she will be spending Christmas with Wiebke Ewertsen, who was a foreign exchange student at Lester Prairie in 1999.

Shortly after New Year's, Angvall will travel to Örebro to get ready for classes, she said.

The majority of her classes in Sweden will be for her minor, she said.

Requirements for her minor include a study abroad experience of at least eight weeks, two years of that selected country's language, two courses of intercultural communication, and six credits of coursework focusing on the country or region of study.

Örebro's location and weather is equivalent to the middle of Canada and is seven hours ahead in the time zone.

In the northern part of Sweden, the climate and length of daylight is similar to that of Alaska. It is darker for a longer time in the winter, and in the summer it stays light for almost the entire day, Angvall said.

Once classes finish up in early June, Angvall will meet up with two friends, Krisitn Anderson of Lester Prairie and Rae Wehr of Silver Creek, to do some traveling until early August when she returns to the United States.

Her parents have been talking about possibly going to see her while she's at school, she said.

Though it will be difficult for Angvall to miss special events such as Christmas, Easter, and birthdays, her family, boyfriend, and friends have had more than one year to get used to the idea of her being gone.

Angvall will have e-mail and a cell phone to keep in touch. Her phone can also take pictures, so she can e-mail photos home.

It takes a lot of planning and a "big commitment" to get all the requirements in order, she said.

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