By Sarah Browning, Staff Writer

Transfer and international student Anders Ljungholm’s life has spanned cultures, states, countries and schools, and his love of music has guided him to Asbury to study music education. Someday he will be telling God’s story in music notes.

Ljungholm was born in Silver Springs, Maryland, but when he was five, he and his family moved back to Sweden, where his parents are originally from. He grew up in Stockholm, went to school there and learned Swedish. When Ljungholm was 12, the Salvation Army moved his family to Texas.

Ljungholm said that “from climate to politics,” everything about Texas is different from Sweden. He discussed how Sweden is much older than America, so it has many more traditions, and how everyone walks places in Sweden, but in Texas, everybody drives. Due to the shocking differences, he said, “2009, when I moved to Texas, was probably the toughest year of my life.”

He adapted, however, and he considers himself more American than Swedish. He has embraced the American passion for sports and watches mostly basketball and soccer. In terms of interests, he said, “I love sports. Music and sports are about the same for me.”

It was Ljungholm’s love of music, and Professor Nathan Miller’s encouragement, that drove him toward Asbury. Ljungholm had been studying business at Denton University in Texas, but he hated it. He said, “I really should have switched my freshman year, but I just kept going. I don’t know why.”

After realizing that, he took a semester off, and Miller recommended he come to Asbury. Ljungholm said that he was not expecting to come to Asbury, but when he visited, it just felt right. He auditioned for scholarships and decided to transfer here to study music education.
He said, “Who doesn’t love music? I love listening to music. I love playing music. I kind of like talking about music. And both my parents majored in music.”

He sings and plays the tuba, while knowing a little piano and some guitar. He is also part of the chorale, orchestra and concert band. Ljungholm would like to teach middle school or high school music, but, ultimately, he would like to be a Divisional Music Director for The Salvation Army, which is the position his parents had that moved them from Sweden to Texas.

So far, Ljungholm’s first semester at Asbury has been filled with good things and good music. He said, “This is the first time I’ve been at a school where sometimes they start class with a prayer. It’s weird, but it’s nice.”

Photo by Brody McKinnon