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Student Spotlight

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Lara Johnson: Overseas Study

November 09, 2007

Born in Germany and raised in Texas, ASU junior Lara Johnson is combining her two “homelands” into the educational opportunity of a lifetime.

A double major in journalism and German, Johnson is currently studying in Germany at Leibniz Universität Hannover, where she will spend 10 months through the ASU Study Abroad Program.

“I’ve always had an interest in the German culture and I think the language is completely beautiful,” Johnson said. “I have spent my last three summers in Germany and have completely fallen in love with the people, the language and even more so with the culture. I love that wherever I go in the world, despite cultural and language differences, we are all people, we all have many of the same emotional struggles, and many of the same hopes and dreams.”

While in Hannover, Johnson will take classes in German phonetics, grammar, literature, spoken communication and culture, with classes starting in October.

“My German is ‘almost’ fluent and that is one of the reasons I will be attending school in Germany, to be totally immersed in the language,” Johnson said. “I’ve been taking German since my freshman year of high school, so this will be my eighth year.”

But, it won’t be all schoolwork for Johnson. She plans to be immersed in the German culture as well, possibly even spending Christmas break on holiday in Bavaria.

“I look forward to not just visiting, but making Hannover my home,” Johnson said. “While being a tourist is fun, it will also be fun to learn what living in the city is truly like.  I’ll be finding myself and my identity in a culture that is much like ours and so much unlike ours at the same time.”

Despite her previous stays in Germany and her eagerness to return, being away from her Texas home for so long still has Johnson a little intimidated.

“I am somewhat anxious and the beginning will be the hardest time because I’ll be trying to get the feel of the city, learn the school system and build relationships at the same time,” Johnson said. “But, three students from San Angelo will be attending school in Germany the second semester, two in Hannover and another in Lüneburg. I am looking forward to their arrival, and by that time I know I will be aching to see someone from home.”

A native of Garland, Johnson is scheduled to graduate from ASU in May 2009.

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