SDSU confirms safety of students studying in Paris

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SAN DIEGO — All 34 San Diego State University students studying in France are safe, a spokesperson said Sunday.

And Sunday, the House of France in Balboa Park announced it will host a vigil Monday night to honor the victims of the Paris attacks. The remembrance is set for 8 p.m. in front of the international cottage, in the heart of Balboa Park, president Ingrid Pasco said.

Officials said today they were able to reach each of the university’s students currently studying in France, following Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

Eight of the SDSU students were in Paris and have been accounted for, according to the school’s media relations office.

The school had originally only been in contact with only 31 of the 34 students studying throughout France after the terrorist attacks. School officials were unable to account for three students studying in southern France, but have reached them through their coordinators and partner universities.

SDSU said messages were sent to all students in France asking them to reply about their well-being and location. Students were also asked to contact their family members overseas.

Greg Block, SDSU’s director of Media Relations, said students go through training prior to going abroad and know what steps to take in the event of an emergency.

The University of San Diego also posted an update to their international studies abroad web page stating that the school has reached out to all students in Europe as well as their emergency contacts. Students were directed by university staff to contact the school and their families.

USD did not state if any of their students abroad are studying in Paris.

Officials from UC San Diego have not returned calls from City News Service. The university has not updated their news center web page or study abroad web page with updates on UCSD students abroad.

According to the school’s study abroad website, UCSD offers multiple study abroad programs in Paris, including a global seminar summer course.

“This type of attack is very unusual and very unexpected in France,” Pasco said. She said so far none of her family or friends in France have been directly affected by the attacks there.

One California college student studying abroad was killed in Friday’s attacks.

Nohemi Gonzalez of El Monte was a 23-year-old junior at Cal State Long Beach who was in Paris attending Strate College of Design as one of 17 CSULB students talking part in a semester abroad program, according to Michael Uhlenkamp, executive director of news for the university.

Uhlenkamp said the school has confirmed that the other 16 students are safe.

French officials said today that at least 129 people were killed in Friday’s coordinated terrorist attacks, which targeted six locations throughout the city.

The Islamic extremist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

[UPDATE:  The vigil in Balboa Park was originally scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20, but was changed to Monday, Nov. 16]

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