Stephen F. Austin's 'Studying Abroad' Program Not Affected By Recent Terrorist Attacks - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/25/05 - Nacogdoches

Stephen F. Austin's 'Studying Abroad' Program Not Affected By Recent Terrorist Attacks

by Stuart Burson

Some folks are nervous about heading overseas because of the recent bombings. Many colleges and universities around East Texas send students overseas.

They go as part of programs to learn about the life and culture of other countries.

Has the recent violence had an impact on these programs?

Recent terrorist activity in London and Egypt has even the most seasoned travelers feeling a little on edge. And then there are students planning once in a lifetime trips to study overseas.

Is the fear of terror effecting "study abroad" programs like the ones at SFA?

"The students really benefit from the experience of living in a foreign country, studying in a foreign country, and we feel very strongly that as long as we take every precaution that we can, the students should go and they're going." says Dr. Ann Doyle-Anderson with SFA.

The school makes sure students are familiar with the countries they plan to visit. That preparation includes a series of meetings on travel safety. Students are also encouraged to do research on their own.

"We send them to the Department of State travel website. It gives them various weblinks to different security warnings and travel warnings. If there was a travel warning issued to any area we would cancel the program, we wouldn't be allowed to send them." says Amber Melo, SFA's Study Abroad Coordinator.

Recent events have made SFA leaders more cautious. But they plan to keep the overseas programs going, as long as they believe the students will be safe.

"Within the field of international education, I hear a lot of colleagues, they say it's just as dangerous to travel to different major cities here in the united states as it would be to travel overseas." says Melo.

Right now the only countries SFA students can not visit are those with a travel warning issued by the state department.

We're told students are still coming in every day asking about the opportunities available to study overseas.

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