Study abroad programs evaluate safety after terrorist attacks -, GA News Weather & Sports

Study abroad programs evaluate safety after terrorist attacks

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

Multiple study abroad groups from a variety of American colleges were in Brussels at the time of this week's deadly terrorist attacks.

As of Friday, there have been no reporting of any of those groups being directly effected or injured.

However, we were able to dive deeper into how safe traveling or studying in Europe is, in light of the current situation.

Columbus State University doesn't have any study abroad groups currently in Belgium, but there are multiple study abroad programs in Europe or lined up for this summer. With a travel alert issued, CSU continues to keep a watchful eye on the conditions overseas.

"We have a set of emergency protocols that all faculty carry, and one of them is public disturbance or terrorist act," said Dr. McCrillis, Director of CSU's Center for International Education. 

CSU currently has a group in Oxford, England this week, which falls into the European region which The State Department has issued a travel alert for until this summer. The State Department says terrorist groups continue to plan attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation. A travel alert simply pushes Americans to evaluate potential risks of travel, not strictly avoid the area.

According to our web poll more than half of our viewers aren't afraid to brave that travel alert.

Coordinators at Columbus State University's International Education center say they've canceled trips in the past due to safety concerns but at this time all upcoming trips to Europe are still on.

"We did that in fact with a program we had planned, it was new, we were going to do a program in Istanbul this past spring break, we had decided that we needed to cancel that program back in December," said Dr. McCrillis. A possibly life-saving call. "Since then unfortunately there have been a number of bombs including one in Istanbul."

The CSU International Education director explained that most study abroad programs place students in locations where locals live and work, which are typically not targeted locations.

The University also released an in-depth statement about how they monitor the safety of students who are abroad. You can see those preparations and protocols by clicking here.

CSU administrators also say traffic accidents and alcohol misuse statistically pose the most threats to study abroad students, not terrorism.

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