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University of Iowa News Release


March 1, 2010

UI officials confirm students safe in Chile

Officials with International Programs at the University of Iowa have confirmed the safety of all of its 10 undergraduate students studying in Chile in the wake of the massive earthquake Saturday, Feb. 27. They have also reached out to the six UI international students from Chile studying on the UI campus to offer support and counseling as needed.

The UI Office for Study Abroad confirmed there are 10 undergraduate students currently in Chile on academic year or spring semester programs. The whereabouts and safety of all 10 had been confirmed by mid-afternoon Saturday, according to Janis Perkins, director of the UI Office for Study Abroad. An 11th student was en-route to Chile on Saturday and was diverted to Peru, where she remains, Perkins added. The spring semester in Chile begins in early March so study abroad programs are in a state of flux. Two other students were scheduled to fly to Chile this week, but are still in the United States, Perkins said.

It appears that facilities in Chile used by the UI for its programs have not been seriously affected by the quake. Those programs are scheduled to continue as planned as soon as feasible, said Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs at the UI.

"The people of Chile are in our thoughts during this devastating natural disaster, and we are hopeful for the full recovery of the country," said Scott King, director of the UI Office of International Students and Scholars. "The UI is also committed to ensuring the safety of all UI students who study abroad as well as to extending support to students and scholars on our campus whenever disasters like this occur."

King said the UI currently has six Chilean students on campus this semester. He said an email has been sent to all Chilean students offering support and assistance if they or family members are affected by the earthquake.

UI officials encourage those who wish to support recovery efforts in Chile to do so through established relief organizations such as the American Red Cross.

For more information on UI study abroad programs in Chile, visit

For more information on OISS, visit

Both the Office for Study Abroad and the Office of International Students and Scholars are part of International Programs at the UI. For more information, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott King,, 319-335-0335; Janis Perkins,, 319-335-0353; or Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,