Penn State

Penn State students in Belgium accounted for, safe

A message on the asphalt reads “Brussels Forever” at the Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels, where people write hundreds of messages on the ground to remember the victims of the bombing attacks, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Bombs exploded at the Brussels airport and one of the city’s metro stations Tuesday, killing and wounding scores of people, as a European capital was again locked down amid heightened security threats.
A message on the asphalt reads “Brussels Forever” at the Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels, where people write hundreds of messages on the ground to remember the victims of the bombing attacks, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Bombs exploded at the Brussels airport and one of the city’s metro stations Tuesday, killing and wounding scores of people, as a European capital was again locked down amid heightened security threats. AP photo

As attention focuses on Brussels, it can be easy to think the Tuesday morning bombings are far removed from central Pennsylvania.

But several Penn State students are studying in Belgium.

Penn State participates in a study abroad program in the country through the Council on International Educational Exchange. The program is called “Brussels, Business, Communication and Culture.”

“We, of course, are aware of the bombings in Brussels and we have already been in touch with our seven students who are in Belgium. All are safe and out of harm’s way,” said Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers in an email Tuesday.

“Six are in Brussels and one is in Leuven, and none of those students were directly affected,” she said. “We are grateful for this positive information about their safety.”

This is not the first time the university has responded to questions about student safety after an international incident during this school year. Similar questions arose after the Paris attacks in November. Eight students were in France at that time. All eight were also safe.

Powers credited CIEE for the ability to quickly ascertain the students’ location and safety.

“Our study abroad provider has access to travel information and is able to quickly determine who is in Belgium,” she said. “While we have had no requests for assistance from any students, we remain alert and in contact with them. Student safety while abroad is a priority for Penn State.”

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

  Comments