The 13 Quinnipiac University students studying abroad in London this semester are all safe following Wednesday's terror attack.
Five people were killed, including the assailant, and dozens of others were injured after a knife-wielding man plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. The man then stabbed a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament.
Quinnipiac sophomore and Danbury native, Kassie Mendes was in her dorm room — which is only a 20 minute drive from Parliament — at the time of the attack. She was close enough to hear all the commotion.
“I heard most of the sirens the helicopters that kind of stuff,” said Mendes.
Mendes said she felt secure in her surroundings, but with information slow to come in, she had concerns.
“Not having the proper information just kind of puts you in a little panic even though you know you are safe,” Mendes said.
Back in Connecticut, Quinnipiac University had received an alert from their partners in London. The school immediately began contacting the students individually, hoping to have answers for concerned families before they began to call.
"We got the alert so our safety protocol is to contact every student to see that they're in a good place," said Diane Ariza with Quinnipiac’s Department of Cultural & Global Engagement.
According to Ariza, within an hour they had confirmed the safety of each of their students. She says the schools does their best to prepare students and families for life abroad and Mendes agrees it is a conversation families should have before making the decision to go.
“I knew coming over here that I ran the risk of something like this happening I feel like that is a conversation every student who decides to go abroad has to have with their family,” Mendes said.