Study abroad continues, but with caution

A student looks over programs and location options that are available to study abroad during a HogsAbroad. (Photo by Cindy Zavaleta)

A student looks over programs and location options that are available to study abroad during a HogsAbroad. (Photo by Cindy Zavaleta)

By Cindy Zavaleta

The Razorback Reporter

The UA study abroad office has no plans to cancel programs, despite recent terrorist attacks, notably the one that struck Paris. The study abroad office has not had any students cancel trips, administrators said.

As soon as the study abroad office was made aware of the events unfolding in Paris, they first contacted program providers for information on students located in or near Paris.

The main way of communication between the study abroad office and students is through the program providers.

“We relied on program providers because they have direct access to students,” said DeDe Long, director of study abroad and international exchange.

However, students often travel to nearby countries when they are studying abroad, making it difficult for the study abroad office to know students’ locations at all times.

Technology has also made it easier and faster to get into communication with one another. Students either called or checked in on social media sites, such as Facebook to let their parents and friends know.

UA study abroad officials have reviewed their safety procedures to decide whether changes needed to be made. Having safety procedures in place for all types of situations is important to safety for students abroad.

Adding Facebook check-in as a part of the study abroad program was a topic of discussion during the safety procedure meeting. It was denied because many people don’t use that feature on Facebook and it was deemed that a text or phone call is a quicker way to get in touch. The study abroad office will not change safety procedures as of now, officials said.

“As of now no one has dropped,” Long said in recent interview.

“Students are anxious to know if programs have been canceled,” Long said.

The study abroad office encourages students to always travel with a buddy and let at least three people know travel plans.

Students abroad received emails informing them of other tips and safety measures they can take. Some of these tips included staying in surrounding areas, blending in, avoiding tourist areas and frequently checking in with their program providers.