An international student at the University of Alberta is wondering why her possessions were thrown out over the summer, even though she says she took measures to ensure her apartment would remain as it was.

Siying Chen is in her fourth year studying design at the U of A, and she has travelled to her home in China every summer.

She has lived at the HUB Mall residences on campus for three years, and she pre-paid her rent for the summer every year.

Chen had thought her belongings would be safe over the summer in her apartment, but she was shocked to see many of them were gone when she returned.

“I never thought they would throw all my things away,” Chen said. “I have been doing this for a few years already, so every year before I left I prepaid four months’ rent.”

Her 51’ television, computer, snowboard equipment – in addition to handmade furniture and paintings she had made were all gone.

She told CTV News she received an e-mail from a building administrator saying cleaning had to be done, they had tried to contact her, but it was not clear when she would be back, and she had been required to tell them if she was leaving for more than 14 days.

Chen said while she was overseas, she wasn’t able to receive e-mails, saying her Gmail account was blocked by the Chinese government.

Officials with the U of A were not available for an interview with CTV News, but a spokesperson released the following statement:

“Every year many students returning home intentionally leave behind belongings for which they no longer have a use. The University of Alberta’s policies and procedures that govern how students’ belongings are handled when they move out were adhered to in this case. We are committed to constantly improving those policies and procedures and we are committed to enhancing students’ experience while here. Situations like this help us identify where and how we can make those improvements.”

The student said the incident has not only affected her pocketbook, but she says her grades have suffered, and she has also needed to see a psychologist.

With files from David Ewasuk