Exchange student dies in hospital

By Anna Heinemann

Stefan Walter, an international student from Germany, died Tuesday night at Carle Hospital.

His housemate, Luiza Ilie, said Walter was taken to the emergency room for a fever Monday night, but was later released. By Tuesday, Walter’s condition had worsened and his housemates called for an ambulance. He was taken to Carle Hospital and pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m., said Duane Northrup, Champaign County deputy coroner. Northrup said Walter was 22 years old.

Ilie, a graduate student, said she lived with Walter in the Cosmopolitan Club’s house, located at 307 E. John St. in Champaign. The Cosmopolitan Club is an organization dedicated to supporting international students on campus.

“We’re a house of international students,” Ilie said. “Fourteen people live here and we’d just started to bond. I’d only known him for four months.”

Although he’d only been on campus since the start of the semester, Ilie said Walter made a big impact on the students who lived in the house.

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“He was a very quiet guy, but when he spoke he was very funny,” Ilie said.

Walter was in his first year of a two-semester non-degree program in LAS, said Jeff Unger, director of the University news bureau.

Ilie said Walter was studying economics.

“He had very strong convictions. He supported Bush because of his economic stances,” she said.

Ilie said Walter was involved in AIESEC, a student-run organization dedicated to helping students find exchange programs in 80 countries worldwide. Walter was the chapter leader of AIESEC for the University of Kiel in Germany.

Unger said Walter was from Kissenbruck, Germany, and Ilie said his parents had been notified of his death over the phone through a translator.

Northrup said Walter’s death is not being investigated as foul play, but it is still under investigation.

“What we will all remember was his smile – he was always smiling,” Ilie said.