I second the comment about OpenOffice. That may work well enough for you, even if the compatibility is not perfect. Or it may not.
Note that the version of OO that comes with Mint 6 is 2.4.1. There is a way to get a newer version of OO (3.0) once you've installed Mint. Supposedly, the compatibility with Office 2007 is better in 3.0, though I don't think anybody is claiming it's perfect. Still, it may be good enough. I'm not sure, however, whether OO 3.0 will save in Office 2007 formats; I know it's supposed to be able to read them.
Some older versions of Office are supposed to work fine in Wine, but last I heard Office 2007 didn't--yet, anyway.
I have no experience with VirtualBox, but I know people have made it work.
Another alternative, if you already have Windows on your laptop, is to dual-boot--that is, keep Windows for schoolwork and add a Mint install for everything else. I do this myself: I use XP only for iTunes and semipro music recording (and I may drop iTunes if I can get my iPod set up with Rhythmbox or Amarok), and Mint for literally everything else.
Olivia 15 Cinnamon 64, dual-boot Win 7 Pro 64 SP1, Clevo W150ER 15.6" laptop, i7 3630M, 16 GB RAM, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB/HGST 1 TB 7200 RPM, Nvidia GT 650M 1 GB, USB 3.0 HGST 1 TB 7200 RPM, HP Photosmart C5280