Florida State student dies while studying abroad in China, school official says

Story highlights

  • William Cullen Klein was with 36 other Florida State students in China
  • He died while on the study trip, a school spokeswoman says
  • Local law enforcement are investigating the cause of his death, she adds
A Florida State University student has died while studying abroad in China, a school spokeswoman said Monday.
Local law enforcement authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of William Cullen Klein, said Jeanette DeDiemar, the Tallahassee school's director of university communications.
Neither DeDiemar or the Tallahassee-based university itself offered any details regarding Klein's death.
At the time, he was with 36 other students in Tianjin, a large city about 140 kilometers (85 miles) southeast of Beijing, as part of the university's international studies program -- an interdepartmental endeavor through which students can earn bachelor's or master's degrees in international affairs, Asian studies or Russian and East European studies.
According to DeDiemar, the group left for China on May 5 and were scheduled to return on June 17.
Klein was majoring in Chinese language and culture, as well as Spanish, the Florida State spokeswoman said.
On his Facebook page, in which his name is written in English as well as Chinese, Klein said that he knew 28 languages and dialects -- from Haitian Creole to Egyptian Arabic to Mandarin Chinese. His Facebook timeline notes some considerable travel in the past two years, including to Ireland, Spain and Morocco.
DeDiemar said that Klein is from Melbourne Beach, Florida, on the state's Atlantic coast, and his Facebook page notes he is a graduate of Melbourne High School.