SFA Study Abroad Program teaches travel safety to students

SFA Study Abroad Program teaches travel safety to students
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Studying abroad can be an exciting adventure for any college student.

"One of the beautiful things about studying abroad is that it really changes your perspective," said Stephen F. Austin State University Study Abroad Coordinator Ines Maxit. "It really opens your mind. You see things that are done completely different than you're used to seeing."

Students at SFA have the opportunity to travel to several different places around the world. However, with recent terror attacks in Brussels, Paris, and other locations, it can be scary.

"It would scare me a little bit," said Bri Collins, an SFA junior.

"Yeah, It scares me in a way," said Sarah Vlach, an SFA freshman.

Student safety, however, is one of the biggest concerns for the SFA Study Abroad Program.

"For our faculty-led program, we monitor the situation very closely," Maxit said.

This includes not planning faculty-led trips in areas with travel alerts issued by the U.S. State Department, however terrorists attacks are hard to predict and can happen anywhere, even here in the United States.

"Something that we can do is prepare our students how to react in a situation that can be dangerous," Maxit said.

SFA holds a seminar before students go abroad that teaches them safety in general, like sticking in groups and being alert, but also what to do in an emergency situation.

"The students, of course, need to contact the faculty leaders immediately if something happens," Maxit said. "They also have different points where they can meet the group, so if they can't get to the hotel, they know what other places to meet each other.

Maxit said they faculty leaders know the areas they travel to very well and know where to get the students to safety.

The program and students agree being too frightened to travel is no way to live.

"If you want to travel, you should be able to travel," said Collins. "I want to go to Italy one day, and I don't think a terrorist group will ever stop me from going."

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