The entire AU community is united in concern and sadness following the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. The scale of the unfolding disaster is enormous and will require long-term support from around the world. American University will stand ready to assist in appropriate ways. For now, our deepest condolences extend to those suffering loss and continuing uncertainty.
We have contacted all of our students studying in Japan. All are safe and accounted for. We are in regular communication with study-abroad and other program contacts in the region, and they are providing us with updates about the welfare of our students. Alumni Relations is in the process of identifying and contacting AU alumni in Japan.
In addition, we have reached out to Japanese students who are enrolled or are engaged in study-abroad experiences here at AU. We are offering support through the Counseling Center (x3500), Multicultural Affairs (x3651), International Student and Scholar Services (x3350), and Kay Spiritual Life Center (x3320). I ask that we do all we can to be supportive and understanding of their needs during this very difficult time.
In the aftermath of this disaster, there will be a variety of activities organized to extend AU assistance through our divisions and the college and schools. As we gather more information about those activities, we will communicate them directly to the community through the university Web site and other channels.
Times like these always bring out the best in our community, and I am certain that American University will rise to the occasion to offer support and relief in appropriate ways.
Neil Kerwin, President
Update on American University Students in Japan
American University's four students studying at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, through AU Abroad have evacuated the city. All four students plan to return to Tokyo in May for the delayed spring semester. (UPDATED 3/22/11, 12 p.m.)
American University's eight students planning to study at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and Asia Pacific University in Beppu through SIS Abroad are safe. Six students will remain in Japan and start classes next week. The other two students have decided not to continue their studies this semester. (UPDATED 3/22/11, 12 p.m.)
Japan Relief Resources
Support for all students affected by the disasters in Japan
Yoichiro Tateiwa, a journalist with the Japanese television network, NHK, and a journalist-in-residence with the Investigative Reporting Workshop in AU's School of Communication, offers a description of conditions on the ground in Japan.