Since the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for U.S. citizens traveling in Egypt, which remains in a tumultuous period of political instability, 19 University of California students and at least 13 other adults have been transported from the country.
According to the university’s Office of the President, the group — which included a team of archeologists, faculty, and a parent — was taken to Barcelona and is expected to return to California later this week.
In a statement released Tuesday, University of California President Mark Yudof said that contingency plans in place for times like these have been effective.
“We are both happy and relieved that they have been delivered from what our overseas contacts described as an unstable situation,” Yudof said.
Among those removed were 19 students scheduled to begin a semester abroad program on Jan. 31 at the American University in Cairo.
The 11-member archeology team, comprised of students, faculty, and staff from the University of California at Los Angeles, was on a dig 200 miles south of Cairo. All members of the team were transported out of the country, according to the university.
The unrest in Egypt erupted on Jan. 25, when anti-government protests drew thousands of people into the streets across the country. Protesters have called for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for three decades, to leave office immediately.
With its worldwide academic and research interests, the university said it maintains a centralized travel insurance and assistance program.
Following standard protocol, the university said a travel registry and security firm arranged for secure transport within Egypt and provided a safe haven for the impacted university members while it arranged a charter flight out of Cairo.
Yudof thanked the university staff and partners for working “tirelessly to ensure the safety of our travelers.”
According to the university, similar procedures have been employed in other world events, such as recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.