03/14/2012 09:08 am ET Updated Mar 16, 2012

Indiana Tornadoes: Purdue University Students Spend Spring Break Volunteering In Ravaged Town

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Spring break may signal scenes of college coeds cracking Coronas on the beach and splashing around in barely-there bikinis.

But for one crew of friends, it meant slipping into work clothes and performing backbreaking labor in a tornado-ravaged town, MSNBC reports.

More than 80 international students from Purdue University got a harsh lesson in how much destruction tornadoes can cause when they headed to Marysville, Ind., to volunteer after the recent spate of twisters swept through the state.

"It's kind of sad, actually," Fatthon Yong, a Purdue freshman, told the news source, "Because we don't usually have this back in my country... [and] just now when we were picking up stuff, we actually saw a photo of a family, and it was really, really sad."

The group, hailing originally from places like India, China and Nigeria, spent their days mostly moving debris out of the way so that emergency vehicles could pass through. MSNBC reports.

While the student-volunteers could offer up only a week of service, the residents of Marysville were grateful for their sacrifice.

"It's such a great help," Indiana Conservation Officer Roger Goldman told MSNBC. "It's just phenomenal how anybody would take their spring break and come out and do this kind of stuff for us. It's just great."

To find out how you can get involved with helping the tornado victims, click here.