The devastation following Japan’s 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami that followed did not affect only those in Japan; it hit home right here at COC. Several Japanese exchange students attend COC, and all of them were shocked and saddened by the news. Their first reaction was to attempt to contact any family and friends they had living in Japan. Several were fortunate to contact loved ones via Skype or text messages while others had to wait for an opportunity to hear from them by phone. One student learned of his aunts passing in the middle of his interview, only sharing the news after the interview was over.
Program Specialist Naomi Taniguchi reached out to her exchange students immediately after the news. She made sure they were okay, asked if they had heard from their families, and even gave the students advice on how to prepare in case an earthquake were to hit Southern California. Naomi and the International Students Program are now working with the Associated Student Government to come up with ideas for fundraisers to help aid the Japanese relief effort. Naomi has already reached out to several musicians in an effort to hold a charity concert. No specific date for this event has been provided.
If you wish to donate to the Japanese relief effort, visit www.redcross.org.