When Angela, Mia, Sara and Kathrin left Augsburg, Germany, as exchange students for two terms, they never thought they would eventually refer to it as their second home. 

The four students study International Management at the University of Augsburg. The programme includes at least one term abroad. The girls mainly chose Luleå because of the course offerings at LTU. Once here, they discovered several advantages with the Swedish higher-education system. In Sweden there are fewer exams and more group projects, and the teachers are open and informal.

Getting to know local residents has been easy. Even though some are a bit shy at first, they are friendly and helpful. The girls have even picked up a few new words, such as sambo, fika and shjoo (northern Swedish, meaning yes, pronounced with a rapid inhale).

One thing that has really impressed the four German exchange students is the wealth of winter activities in Luleå and Norrbotten. They have skied, been on the ice road, listened to Ice Music at Gültzauudden and spent a day at the Jokkmokk Market. Although they spend most of the time in Porsön, they often visit the city centre, which they describe as small and charming. There are also a lot more shops than they had expected.

The girls all agree that Luleå was the right choice. When they were in German over Christmas they met several classmates, all of whom were happy to be home again. But Angela, Mia, Sara and Kathrin asked themselves, "when are we going home to Luleå?".