In today’s frightening times of terrorist activity, traveling around the world can be worrisome to both students and parents. The recent bombings in Istanbul’s tourist center and in Brussels airport can cause questions and worries about safety to rise to the surface.
At Hiram College, we always make decisions based upon the safety of our students. The study away coordinator monitors all information coming from the United States government through OSAC and the State Department’s Travel website, along with the World Health Organization and CDC (because pesky bugs and viruses can be frightening too!) to see what the risk factors are for students traveling to areas all around the world. Discussions are also had with other higher education institutions all over the country about how they are handling the current climate, to ensure that we are taking the right amount of precautions and providing all the appropriate information students and faculty will need. The study away coordinator and faculty leading the trip discuss any issues that arise and continue to monitor all situations right up until they arrive back in the United States.
Leading up to study abroad trips, we talk to the students about maintaining vigilance when traveling and how to handle possible situations that could arise, because unfortunately, no matter how many precautions we take, these events can occur (even within the United States, as the shootings in San Bernardino have shown us).
Hiram College is focused on providing a global education, so finding a balance between managing the fear that has come with these uncertain times and educating ourselves about other cultures, providing us with a new and renewed understanding, we hope will make this world a more peaceful place.
If you are ever concerned about a trip or the safety of your children, please do not hesitate to contact the Brittany Jackson, the study away coordinator, (JacksonB1@hiram.edu or 330.569.5380) with any questions or concerns!