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Phone calls from worried partner universities: Is Copenhagen safe?

Since the terror attacks, the University of Copenhagen has been hard at work re-assuring partner universities and international students. The message: It IS safe to be an exchange students to Copenhagen

More than 2,000 international exchange students come to the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) every year.

Some of them live in the center of the city close to the synagogue where a Jewish volunteer gatekeeper protecting an ongoing bat-mitzva was shot dead by a terrorist on Sunday.

Earlier Saturday the terrorist had opened fire at a debate meeting with the Swedish cartoonist and writer Lars Vilks. An innoncent bystander was killed at three police officers wounded in the shootout.

Normal procedure

According to the Vice-Provost for Education at UCPH Anni Søborg the University has received calls from a few of the more than 130 universities worldwide that UCPH has exchange agreements with.

“Our partner universities are of course concerned for the students’ well-being. We had two worried phone calls late Saturday night. Sunday morning we send out a message to all our exchange students to let them know that they could contact us if they felt worried or unsafe. We also instructed them to follow the directions of the Danish police and local authorities in the coming days.”

“At the same time we sent out an e-mail to our university partners to let them know of the incidents in Copenhagen and to let them know that they could reach out to us if they were worried. ” she says.

Anni Søborg explains that it is normal procedure for a university to check-up on its exchange students when something like a terrorist attack happens and also to communicate with the partner universities as soon as possible as the partner universities often are in contact with worried parents.

Natural response

UCPH has made a similar enquiry about their exchange students when there have been school shootings in USA or other similar dramatic incidents.

“Of course some of the exchange students can get worried because they just arrived in Copenhagen and nothing like this ever happened before in Denmark,” says Anni Søborg.

She adds that by close of business Monday no worried exchange students had reached out to the student service center or call center.

She elaborates further that today the International Education and Grants Office has received more than 30 e-mails from partner universities from all over the world -Yale – Madrid – Paris to Sydney thanking the UCPH for the information e-mails sent on Sunday and expressing their regrets with the incidents occurring in the weekend.

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