U of Minnesota, Gustavus sending students home from Japan


A week or so after the earthquake in Japan, it looks like seven of the 11 University of Minnesota Students studying there are coming home because of lingering safety issues.

Gustavus Adolphus is also bringing home its six students.

(Are there any other institutions advising or ordering their students to return?)

Here’s the announcement from the U, and below that Gustavus’:

The University of Minnesota, through its International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee, has decided that the seven students currently studying in Tokyo must return home.

The four students studying in Nagoya and Hiroshima are allowed to remain, barring any changes in the situation on the ground in those cities. This difficult decision was made based on a number of important factors, including the recent addition of Japan to the U.S. Department of State’s travel warning list, the closings of several Tokyo universities, the inconsistent electrical and transportation systems, the unknown and constantly changing radiation issues, and the inability to ensure that facilities and student housing would remain safe and free of earthquake damage.

The University is working with its insurance company’s emergency evacuation team to ensure that the students can leave Japan and return home safely.

Also, our Institute for Advanced Study has a website that brings together an array of their informational resources regarding Japan and this specific crisis, if you’re interested. They expect to update with new topics.

From Gustavus:

In light of recent events—including the U.S. State Department travel warning for Japan and continuing uncertainty over Japan’s nuclear crisis following last Friday’s major earthquake—Gustavus has made the decision to bring home its six students studying in the country this semester.

Five of the students have been studying at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata, near Osaka. One student has been studying in Nagoya through the IES Abroad program, which today announced it is evacuating its students from Japan as well. Gustavus’s travel insurer will work with students to arrange their prompt return to the United States.

“This was a difficult decision for us,” said Provost and Dean of the College David Fienen. “We recognize the richness of the academic experience for our students in Japan. At the same time, however, their safety is our highest priority.”

Gustavus has a long partnership, including student and faculty exchange programs, with Kansai Gaidai. Located near Osaka, the university focuses on foreign language studies, has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students, and is known for its large Asian Studies program as well as its Intensive English Studies program for Japanese students planning to study abroad. IES Abroad is a Chicago-based nonprofit consortium that delivers study experiences to some 5,300 U.S. students in 34 cities worldwide each year.