Richmond, Ind.—At least one Indiana college is directing students studying abroad in Japan to return to the U.S., and several others are considering similar options.
The move comes as a response to the U.S. government urging Americans to consider leaving Japan due to the escalating threat of radiation surrounding a damaged nuclear power facility in Fukushima. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency raised the threat level at the plant from a 4 to a 5.
Purdue University has six students studying in Japan. Though some students may have to return due to delays or cancellations of their programs, the university has not taken any formal action. A university spokesperson says they are monitoring the situation and will work with any student who wants to return.
There are 10 students from Indiana University and one student from IUPUI studying in Japan. Though the university has not directed students to return, spokesperson Susan Williams said they are monitoring the situation and in constant contact with students. She says they will work with any student who chooses to return and will help them resolve any issues with registration, course work and housing. No students have taken them up on the offer so far.
Ball State university has four students studying in Japan, but only three of the students are currently in the country. Spokesperson Kevin Burke said they are not currently recommending a return to the U.S. Burke said no students have expressed any interest in returning.
Indiana State University currently has one student studying in Japan. A spokesperson says the student is studying in the southern part of the country, which is also a long way from Fukushima.
Butler University has one student studying in Japan, and there are no plans for him to return. Spokesperson Courtney Tuell says he is located on the south part of the country at least 200 km from Fukushima.
There are no students from the University of Indianapolis studying abroad in Japan.