Both U.S. and international students at Temple’s Japan Campus invested in education.
Early on March 17, Temple’s Japan Campus announced it would evacuate its 200 remaining United States students in response to a safety warning from the U.S. embassy. The statement was in response to increasing concern about Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which had been damaged in the 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Temple administrators followed suit and announced the Japan study abroad program was suspended for the remainder of the semester.
In the face of disaster, it’s easy to criticize or pin blame, but officials from Main Campus and TU Japan seem to be doing everything in their power to keep students safe.
However, TU Japan is comprised of more than 60 nationalities. It is important to remember that students at TU Japan are all Temple students, not just the ones heading back to Main Campus or the U.S.
As of March 18, TU Japan noted its plans to evacuate non-U.S. and non-Japanese nationals as well as students from the U.S. Additionally, TU Japan chartered a bus to ship Japanese students out of the immediate area, with classes tentatively scheduled to resume for TU Japan students on March 28.
A March 19 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer commented on Japanese airports being flooded by foreigners, with few Japanese people choosing to leave the country.
“In order to allow us to most effectively use our available resources, we are asking that our native Japanese students rely on their domestic resources,” TU Japan Dean Bruce Stronach, a U.S. citizen who also elected to remain in Tokyo, said in a statement.
U.S. students arrived safely in Hong Kong on March 20, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article, and the International S.O.S. is working with students to arrange transportation to their home destinations.
The university is working with students to ensure they can still fulfill academic requirements for the semester through a variety of outlets.
While students from the U.S. who were studying abroad in Japan are almost all out of harm’s way, it’s important to remember that all students’ investment in education should be taken into consideration.