UVM students in Paris confirmed safe, officials say

John Riedel, Staff Writer

For continuing updates on students studying abroad after the attacks, stay posted to www.vtcynic.com and follow us on Twitter on the hashtag #UVMinParis.

[Updated 9:37 p.m., Nov. 15]

In a night of chaos, terrorists killed at least 120 people across six different sites in Paris Friday Nov. 13, according to the New York Times.

Two UVM students are currently studying abroad in Paris, and five more in programs in other parts of France, said Kim Howard, director of the Office of International Education.

All students are safe, according to UVM officials.

Junior Ruby LaBrusciano-Carris was one of these students. She said she received a Facebook message from a friend with an article about the shootings on the night of Nov. 13.

“The article was very brief and a little unclear, just citing rumors of a shooting somewhere in the city,” she wrote in a Nov. 15 email to the Cynic. “There wasn’t much information and so I wasn’t sure how worried I should be.”

When she saw the BBC News live feed however she said she and her roommate were stayed in the same spot on the couch for the next few hours, “shaken and in a sort of shock.”

“It was difficult to wrap our heads around what was really going on only a few neighborhoods away,” LaBrusciano-Carris wrote in the email. “We could hear sirens in the distance, but other than that our street was unusually quiet after the curfew was imposed.”

She said she woke up to emails from her study abroad program and the U.S. Embassy with advice to stay inside and avoid traveling in the city the next day.

“All we cared about in hearing back from students was, ‘Are you safe?’” Howard said.

The Office of International Education also communicated with students studying in Spain who were on excursions in Paris to check on their safety as well, Howard said.

LaBrusciano-Carris said she spent the weekend “essentially housebound” after so many people asked to her stay at home.

“I sincerely hope that this country that I love so much will find the right way to respond to these attacks,” she said. “That [it] doesn’t alienate any ethnicity or religion, and that France can continue to heal as a whole.”