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Vermont Students Abroad Reported Safe After Paris Attacks

Students from the University of Vermont studying abroad are safe and accounted for after Friday’s attacks in Paris, officials say.

Representatives from St. Michael’s College and Champlain College also said Monday that all of their students in Paris are safe.

Kim Howard, the director of the Office of International Education at UVM, said there were six UVM students in Paris on Friday. The school learned by around midnight Friday night that all six were safe, Howard said.

Student safety is “incredibly important,” Howard said, noting that UVM has processes in place to assess and reduce risks to students abroad. But she also said that international education is vital precisely because of the global forces at play.

“I think that most of us who work in international education, for most of us the attacks in Paris and in Beirut last week are indicative that this is a time to proactively identify more opportunities to connect meaningfully across difference and to learn from others both abroad and right here at home,” she said. “It’s not a time to withdraw from the world in fear … Living in another culture, making friends with people from other cultures, it challenges our prejudice and our bias and it broadens our perspective and understanding and it builds empathy. And those are the things that I feel so passionately that we need right now.”

Howard said the university isn’t making any changes to travel plans for students in response to the attacks.

Middlebury College did not respond to requests for information about its students abroad on Monday.

A Dartmouth College representative said by email that "a Dartmouth faculty member and seven students are participating in a French foreign study program in Paris. All of them are safe and have been in touch with their families."

Castleton University spokesman Jeff Weld said no Castleton students were in Paris Friday. He also said there are some students from France studying at Castleton and the university has offered support for them.

Updated 11/17/2015 9:21 a.m. This story was updated with comments from a Dartmouth official, who said all students and faculty in Paris on Friday were safe.

Updated 12/3/2015 3:07 p.m. Middlebury College announced after the attacks that students and faculty abroad were all confirmed safe.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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