U. of Miami Offers to Take More Students From Devastated Italian Campus

April 07, 2009

The University of Miami, one of two American universities with study-abroad programs at the University of L’Aquila, plans to open its doors to more students from the Italian university, which was badly damaged in an earthquake this week.

Miami will encourage L’Aquila to send more students to study on its Florida campus during the 2009-10 academic year, said Elyse M. Resnick, assistant director of international education programs and exchanges. Miami typically accepts five L’Aquila students each year through an exchange program.

Ferdinando di Orio, L’Aquila’s rector, had appealed for help in finding places for the university’s 27,000 students after the campus was “practically destroyed” in the earthquake. At least four students were killed when a dormitory collapsed, Time reports.

No Miami students were studying at the Italian university this semester, Ms. Resnick said. Miami, which has had an exchange program with L’Aquila since 2002, will see how rebuilding goes before deciding whether to send students next spring.

Meanwhile, Georgetown University officials said they did not yet know how the earthquake would affect its summer study-abroad program at L’Aquila. The Hoya, Georgetown’s student newspaper, reports that 10 students at a time typically study abroad there. —Karin Fischer