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ND, SMC students safe after Brussels terrorist attack

| Wednesday, March 23, 2016

University and College administrators confirmed the safety of students participating in study abroad programs, following the Brussels attacks. Three explosions, two in the Brussels airport and one in a subway station, killed about 30 people and injured hundreds. The terrorist group ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Tom Guinan, associate vice president for administrative operations for Notre Dame International (NDI), said in an email the University has accounted for all 433 students studying abroad.

“We now have final confirmation of the location and well-being of all of our students abroad,” he said.

In an email to students currently studying abroad, Guinan said, students are advised to not travel to Belgium until further notice.

“The U.S. Embassy in Brussels has issued this statement on the attacks, which includes a Level 4 threat rating,” he said.

NDI does not have any plans to curtail or modify study abroad programs at this time, according to a release on their website.

“However, in light of these attacks and subsequent Europe-wide Travel Alert from the U.S. Department of State, NDI will continue to rigorously monitor world events and urge students abroad to take proactive safety measures and access the University’s resources for responding to disruptive or unsafe situations,” the release stated.

Alice Siqin Yang, assistant director for Global Education at Saint Mary’s Center for Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), said in an email the College confirmed the safety of all students studying in Europe.

“We contacted our Rome and Ireland Program onsite directors. They told us all the students there are fine. We have also contacted the students in Oxford (UK), Spain and Morocco. All of them replied to our emergency response request email,” she said. “Spanish Studies Abroad, the provider of our Spain Program, also communicated with us regarding the situation of our students in Sevilla. One ND student and one Holy Cross student are attending Saint Mary’s programs. We have already informed the two institutions of the situation of their students.

“The College offers HTH international insurance for every study abroad student. HTH offered some updates on the situation in Brussels today. All the [study abroad] participants are enrolled in the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. We also received updates from Overseas Security Advisory Council. We are monitoring the situation ”

Editors Note: Saint Mary’s Editor Nicole Caratas contributed to this story. 

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, the Observer's current Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's a former Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

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