Twelve University of Notre Dame students participating in a study abroad program in Cairo were among the many Americans who arrived safely in Istanbul Monday night (Jan. 31) following their evacuation from Egypt on charter flights arranged by the U.S. State Department.
Notre Dame is working with State Department officials to have the students flown from Turkey to their hometowns, Notre Dame or London. They will be enrolled in courses either on the University’s home campus in South Bend, Ind., or in its London program, depending on individual preference and course and housing availability.
“It has been an incredible four-day period,” said J. Nicholas Entrikin, Notre Dame’s vice president for internationalization. “Staff members of the Office of International Studies (OIS) have worked around the clock to move our students from Cairo to a safe location outside of Egypt. Communications were severely disrupted, but students, parents and OIS staff members were able to create an effective communications network that was invaluable in facilitating the evacuation.
“We are grateful for the assistance from the American University in Cairo (AUC) for the secure environment that they provided our students amidst the protests and violence in Cairo, and U.S. State Department for their help in transporting the students to Turkey. We understand that the students are in excellent health and spirits, and we are delighted with the news of their safe arrival in Istanbul.”
The evacuation was in response to the increasing instability in Egypt caused by violent anti-government protests in Cairo and other cities. The Notre Dame students had just started their semester of studies as part of the Notre Dame program facilitated by the AUC.