Exchange student returns to EG nearly 50 years later

Laurids and Hanne Risom took some time to stop by the Eagle Grove Eagle during their recent visit from Denmark. Laurids was an exchange student here in 1971 - 1972, staying for part of the time with Dick Bell who was a partner at the newspaper. Photo by Kim Demory

Forty-seven years ago, Laurids Risom came to Eagle Grove as an exchange student from Denmark. On Friday, June 5, 2018 he returned as a tourist - excited to show his wife, Hanne, where he spent 10 months meeting new people, discovering American customs, and practicing the English language during the 1971 - 1972 school year.

Unlike most exchange students today, Risom didn’t come as a high school exchange student, but rather as a college student through a Rotary Exchange Program.

“I was 20 years old and hadn’t heard about (the exchange program) before then,” said Risom. “I wanted to come for the adventure.” Risom, with five years studying the English language already under his belt, was hoping that living in America for a while would help him learn to speak it even better.

Helping him achieve that goal was his enrollment at the Junior College in Eagle Grove (now the Eagle Grove Area School District Administration building) where he studied Public Speaking and Economics.

During his return trip last week, Risom reminisced about the many great experiences he had here as a young man and the amazing people he met.

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