Experiencing New Zealand was like love at first sight for University of Rochester student Daniel Abud.
“The people there are really welcoming,” said Abud.
Daniel says after hearing about Tuesday’s earthquake, he can’t imagine the impact.
“I can’t imagine all of a sudden all the things you consider safe, your residence, your university, all of that is taken away,” said Abud.
Daniel is an Engineering Management major at the University of Rochester. He studied and worked in New Zealand for nine months as part of the school’s study abroad program. It’s also where he met his girlfriend, who currently lives in New Zealand.
“She says it’s been pretty bad,” said Abud.
Daniel has been able to stay in touch through online instant messaging.
“As for her personal experience with it, there’s broken streets, broken drainage pipes, water leaking everywhere, the water is contaminated as well,” said Abud.
The University of Rochester currently has three students studying at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. The school has notified U of R that those students are doing fine.
“The program we work with has very good crisis management, and the first thing they did was reassure us they had been in touch with all three of our students to determine no one had been injured,” said Jacqueline Levine, Center for Study Abroad Director.
Levine says the three students have been allowed to get their things from campus while the university is closed for the next week.
“I’m assuming the university will open. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that badly damaged but again we are dealing with sketchy information,” said Levine.
Levine says after the damage is surveyed, students will most likely be able to finish the remaining five months of the program.
“Anytime you’re going far away and living in a different environment it’s very hard to predict what’s going to happen,” said Levine.
U of R Center for Study Abroad