The University of Iowa

Iowa universities report students in Japan are OK

March 11th, 2011

By Jeff Glaze, Des Moines Register

Drake University spokeswoman Lisa Lacher reported that the school’s two students studying abroad in Japan are safe. Both students are studying in Osaka, which was relatively unscathed by the earthquake.

Drake also made contact with three of its four Japanese students, who have all indicated that their families are OK.

University of Northern Iowa officials also reached out to Japanese exchange students Friday morning, but were still unsure about the statuses of their families.

Kurt Meredith, assistant provost of UNI International Programs said that the university was unaware of where students are from. “Most of our Japanese students come from exchange programs so we know their base university, but not where the students are from,” he said.

Meredith said that the email sent out this morning provided information for counseling resources. “We want to makes sure that they know we are here to support them and that our hearts go out to Japan,” he said.

UNI also had one student studying abroad in Osaka. The student reported that she was safe.

The University of Iowa has nine students studying in Japan. Six are in Nagoya, about 220 miles southwest of Tokyo, and those students felt the quake but their city had no serious damage. One on an exchange program at a university in the Tokyo area is fine and has been in touch with her family. The other two students, who are on programs not affiliated with the university, are fine as well – one in in Kofu, 70 miles west of Tokyo, and the other in Hirakata, more than 300 miles southwest of Tokyo.

There are currently no undergraduate Cyclones studying in Japan, according to Iowa State University spokeswoman Annette Hacker. ISU graduate student Eric Waite is researching in Japan with faculty member Nikki Bado, but both reported that they were safe.