Oklahoma Christian University Japanese Exchange Students Heading Home Soon

Monday, March 14th 2011, 10:38 pm
By: News 9

Jon Jordan, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- The earthquake and tsunami prevented several Japanese students studying at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond from heading home, but if all goes according to plan, they should be reunited with their families this weekend.

The past weekend has been an emotional roller coaster for a group of Japanese students who have spent the past several months studying at Oklahoma Christian. The students could do nothing but watch as their country was rocked by an 8.9 earthquake as well as a massive tsunami.

"They were really freaked out. They are really freaked out," said Hiroka Kajiyama, who arrived with the student and has been assisting them during their time in at OC.

Kajiyama said once the students learned of what happened, they have been relying on the Internet to monitor the events unfolding in their country, wishing they could do more.

"A few of the students told me that they really want to go back and some are crying," Kajiyama said.

Fortunately, Greg Gillham, OC's International Admissions Counselor, was able to help

"You just didn't know why someone wasn't being found if it was because they were actually missing or because the phone was out," Gillham said.

Gillham was able to calm a lot of the students' fears when it was discovered their families were alive and safe. He said their concerns now are turned toward the rest of their country.

"Anytime there is the concern about the nuclear meltdown on top of everything else everybody's worries are heightened," Gillham said.

OC administrators said the main reason the situation has turned out well for the students is because most of them and their families live several hundred miles north of the earthquake's epicenter.

OC administrators also said they have a number of alumni living in Japan, and they have all been accounted for.