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All Trent University Students in Thailand Accounted For


Wednesday, December 29, 2004, Peterborough

University offers support for students affected by disaster in southern Asia

Canadian flag In response to the tsunami disaster in southern Asia, Trent University has initiated contact with Trent students studying in the region and their families in Canada to assist them in their time of need.

"We have been able to make contact with the students studying in Thailand and neighbouring countries and they are safe," said Prof. Michael Allcott, Director of the Trent International Program (TIP).

Students were on holiday from their studies and some were vacationing in the coastal areas.

A total of 19 students are enrolled in the Native Studies' Thailand Year Abroad Program which is based in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Most are Trent students while several participate in the program through the cooperation of other Canadian universities.

In addition, one Trent student is participating in the University of Calgary's Pune program in India. To date, there are no confirmed reports of any injuries or fatalities involving Canadian university students.
"We remain very concerned for the safety and welfare of all the Trent students studying or traveling in the affected region," said Allcott. "The other students that we are concerned about are our international students from the area who are studying at Trent. They are extremely concerned about their families and loved ones back home. We will continue to provide them with whatever support we can."

Allcott emphasized that Trent staff are monitoring the situation and sharing information with students' families and the federal government's Department of Foreign Affairs operations centre in Ottawa.

Federal Government Contacts:

Federal government officials continue to monitor developments in southern Asia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's operations centre has an established a toll free number to respond to families' inquiries: 1- (800) 606-5499 or (613) 944-2471. Callers are asked to have ready passport numbers of those family members traveling abroad. Telephone lines are busy and callers are asked to be patient. Updates are posted on the federal government's 'current issues' web page at:


Non-governmental agencies are encouraging the donation of cash to support the relief effort. To date the Canadian government has pledged $4 million in support.

Some of the agencies accepting donations include:
Canadian Red Cross: 1-(800) 418-1111 or
World Vision Canada: 1-(800) 268-5528 or
Unicef: 1-(877) 955-3111

Backgrounder -- Native Studies' Thailand Year Abroad Program

Undergraduate and graduate students from Trent University and other universities may spend an academic year abroad in the northern province of Chiang Mai, Thailand in conjunction with Trent's Native Studies program. Students are required to take five Native Studies courses, including an intensive Thai language course, as well as having an opportunity to gain research and work experience in a four month work - practicum placement.

The academic year for Native Studies Thailand Year Abroad Program is divided into two sections; a four month formal classroom session and a four month work-research field placement. The first session includes an intensive Thai language course, as well as, two other Native Studies courses. The second session involves a placement within a Hill Tribe community or a non-governmental development agency. This placement gives students valuable opportunities for combining work experience and study within a new cultural setting. The year in Thailand begins in the first week of September and concludes the last week of April.

Additional information about Trent's Year Abroad Program can be found at:

Posted December 29, 2004

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