Correction appended: An earlier version of this article inaccurately stated that the Office of International Programs contacted all University of Michigan students studying abroad in Italy to make sure they were safe. In fact, the OIP contacted all students on programs run by the OIP itself, not all University students in Italy. School of Art & Design junior Claire Harold, who was quoted in the story, was on a different program not run by the Office of International Programs.

While the ground violently shook and buildings collapsed during a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Italy on Monday, Michigan students studying abroad kept sleeping.

According to The New York Times, the earthquake in L’Aquila killed 150 people and has left 40,000-50,000 people homeless. But Michigan students studying abroad in Italy were not near the epicenter and their experiences remain unaffected, officials from the University’s Office of International Programs and students in Italy report.

After the earthquake, the OIP made sure that all Michigan students in Italy on OIP programs were safe by contacting program coordinators, Nicole LeBlanc, assistant director of the OIP, said.

“That’s one of the first things we do,” LeBlanc said. “We always monitor global events and make sure everybody’s alright.”

School of Art & Design junior Claire Harold, who is not on an OIP program, is living and studying in Milan, which is about 380 miles from the disaster zone. She said she was unaware of the earthquake until the U.S. Embassy sent an e-mail notifying U.S. citizens abroad.

Harold said although she did not need any type of aid, she was surprised at the lack of direct communication between the students and the University.

“The University has not contacted me or anyone else I have talked to for that matter,” she said in an e-mail interview. “I was told they would in a time like this.”

LeBlanc said the University does not have any students studying in L’Aquila.

LSA junior Alexandra White is studying in Rome, which is about 90 miles east of L’Aquila. She said she slept through the tremors and heard about the earthquake from friends and family checking to make sure she was alright, and from The New York Times.

“I don’t know anyone who was directly affected by it, and while the reports of the destruction and devastation are sad, I have not been directly affected,” she said in an e-mail interview.

White said while Rome was unaffected, students there are pitching in to help the victims.

“(A) school here in Rome, John Cabot University, has put out collection and donation boxes around campus for students to donate clothes, home goods and canned food for the earthquake victims,” she said.

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