The Japanese disaster affected many people in the Valley who have family and friends in Japan, including local colleges with students studying abroad.
Mary Baldwin College had two students studying in Japan when the earthquake happened.
After Friday's earthquake, the Japanese university where the students are studying quickly e-mailed MBC officials to let them know the students were fine.
"We have very clear processes of what to do in an emergency. Our students know to contact us as soon as they know anything when something goes wrong," says Dean Katharine O'Connell.
O'Connell says there is always a little bit of anxiety when the college sends its students overseas, but knowing that the safety protocols did work in this disaster gives them confidence in the system that is in place.
Though the students were 500 miles away from the epicenter, they did feel the ground shake and their nerves were a little shaken.
However, O'Connell says she doubts the disaster will have a negative impact on students wishing to study in other countries. In fact, she believes the media coverage of the disaster could have the opposite effect on students allowing them to empathize with the people of Japan and inspiring them to study there.
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