UI announces student died while studying abroad in Portugal


Roman Slabach

The Old Capital from the roof of UIHC in Iowa City, Iowa on March 25, 2019.

Katie Ann McCarver, News Editor

The University of Iowa announced Monday that UI student Nathan Molinski died Sept. 14.

Molinski was a senior computer-science major and was enrolled in UI study abroad in Portugal, according to an email to the UI community.

The university offered its condolences to Molinski’s loved ones, and forwarded a request from his family asking for memorial statements and remembrances to be shared in Portugal.

While no obituary information is currently available, according to the email, Molinski’s LinkedIn page says he had worked as a front-end web developer intern for Vail Systems in Chicago since May.

The last UI study-abroad death was in 2011 when UI student Thomas Plotkin slipped and fell into a river while in India.

Although he didn’t die while abroad, UI student Andrew Mogni was seriously injured by a fall in his program in Rome in January 2015. He was eventually medically transported back to the U.S. and died several weeks later in April.

In an email to The Daily Iowan, UI Media Relations Manager Hayley Bruce said that, in 2016, the university ended its partnership with John Cabot University, the same university Mogni attended while abroad.

According to an Associated Press article published in The Daily Iowan in July 2017, U.S. universities aren’t required to report how many student deaths happened abroad, making the data incomplete.

Approximately 1,300 students from the university choose to study abroad each year, Bruce said. If a student passes away during their studies, she said, the UI typically may assist with travel costs and counseling for their family and friends.

“We are deeply saddened when we lose a member of the Hawkeye family, and offer the deepest condolences to Nathan’s family, friends and loved ones,” Bruce wrote of Molinski’s death.

She added that the Council on International Education Exchange helps the university with notification of a student’s passing and offers counseling to students abroad.

Interim Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Angie Reams encouraged affected students to reach out to the following resources for support:

University Counseling Services (319-335-7294)

Faculty and Staff Services Employee Assistance Program (319-335-2085)

CommUnity (319-351-0140)