IU says students studying abroad in France are safe

(WISH Photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – Indiana University is checking on its students studying aboard in France in light of the terror attacks that killed more than 150 people.

Also at IU, French exchange students spent Friday evening feverishly trying to get in touch with family and friends overseas.

An IU spokesman said the university has 16 students studying in France, some of whom are in Paris. He said so far he hasn’t heard of any of them being in an sort of trouble as a result of the attacks.

Loic Lerme, who is working to get his Ph.D. in French studies at IU, said he first learned of the attacks through a Facebook message from a friend in France.

He quickly started scouring the internet for more information and he said his first reaction was panic.

Lerme said one of his best friends lives in Paris. He said he immediately reached out to her and was relieved to hear she was out of town.

He then called his mother who lives three hours away from Paris and actually woke her up. The time difference is six hours ahead of Indiana. That then led to his family making more calls to relatives and friends to ensure everyone was safe.

“I’m feeling relieved because I know that everyone I know and I cherish is safe but I’m still very concerned. Understanding that nobody is safe that wherever you go right now in Paris or I think anywhere in Europe for that matter, you could be the target for that kind of attacks,” Lerme said.

Lerme said he spent much of the evening watching French news stations online. He said listening to witnesses and victims of the shooting inside the Le Bataclan Theater left him disgusted.

He said the word the French keep using to describe the attacks is “carnage,” which he says also translates in to “slaughter.”

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