SF State University students studying in Japan asked to return home 

Twelve San Francisco State University students studying in Japan have been asked to return home, and a program that enabled 65 students in the California State University system to study in the country has been suspended until further notice.

“Our first concern is safety of students and those students who are there right now,” said Leo Van Cleve, the director of international programs for state universities.

Due to the effects of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed issued a memo to all students to leave Japan as soon as possible.

The earthquake was the starting point for the recall. But interruptions to transportation, the inability to move food and other supplies, and the high level of concern with the escalating nuclear reactor crisis have added to the reasons for calling students home, Van Cleve said.

It is the first time students were asked to leave Japan in the 45-year history of the CSU program.

It took SFSU officials until Sunday evening to contact all 12 of the students.

“Transportation and communication both in and out is limited,” SFSU spokeswoman Ellen Griffin said. “They are all accounted for now.”

The total number of students studying abroad through the state university system is unknown.

Stanford University officials said 35 students — all accounted for — are en route back to the United States. They were given the option to return to the U.S. The university is presently between quarters.

UC Berkeley officials said 17 students are in Japan and there is “no negative news to report.” Berkeley students are not required to return home.

No students from the University of San Francisco are currently studying in Japan.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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