An email sent shortly after 3pm GMT by the Modern Languages Faculty Year Abroad Team has asked all Year Abroad students, whether they are living in Paris or not, to reply to the email to confirm that they are safe.
This follows the terrorist attacks in various locations around Paris last night in which at least 128 people have been killed and an estimated 300 injured.
The email states, “Following the appalling terrorist attacks in Paris last night, we are writing to everyone on their Year Abroad, to ask you to contact us immediately on receipt of this message (simply by using reply) to let us know both your own whereabouts and of anyone you know who may be in Paris now. We are obviously concerned about the safety of all our students, which is why we are asking everyone to contact us. We wish particularly to be reassured that those in Paris are safe and have not been directly affected. Those of you in Paris will no doubt have already contacted your families, but it is important for both the Faculty and for your Colleges to hear from you.”
It goes on to say “We will also be happy to assist you with any questions or worries you may have. At present we do not consider that there is any reason to consider leaving France, as the French authorities appear to be taking all appropriate steps to ensure public safety, but we will keep you informed should there be any change.”
Year Abroad students in France are also being advised to read the official guidelines of the French (http://www.interieur.gouv.fr) and the British (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france) governments.
It has since also been confirmed that a recent graduate of the London School of Economics has been killed in the attacks.
A march is expected to take place in Oxford from 5pm today “to show support for the victims of Paris, their families and their friends”, beginning outside the Radcliffe Camera. The Facebook event, entitled “Peaceful march for Paris” invites attendees to “bring candles, banners, and whatever you think is appropriate.”
A further march of support has been planned for 2pm tomorrow, also meeting outside the Radcliffe Camera.
A short service of prayer and reflection at Christ Church Cathedral has been organised for 8:30pm this evening, in light of the events in Paris.
If you are seeking advice or have been affected by the attacks, you can call the UK Foreign Office on 020 7008 0000. The equivalent French contact number is 0800 406005.