Europe still safe for study abroad students

Ian Hinze, Campus Carrier News Editor

In recent weeks, terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and Copenhagen, Denmark, have rocked Europe, which may lead some students considering studying abroad to think twice before signing up to study in Europe.

But several Berry students abroad this semester say that other students shouldn’t let these attacks deter them from enjoying a semester in Europe.

                                                                           Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“I’ve been in Paris for a little over a week, and the sense that I get is that no one is really visibly worried about another attack,” junior Olivia Cain said. “It’s probably because they have upped security here since then. Now you can see police and the occasional group of armed soldiers around the city, mostly around really popular sites like Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower as well as at airports.”

Cain said that while terrorism isn’t a primary concern, a different criminal element is alive and well in Paris.

“The main concern here that they warned us about on our program was pickpockets, mostly because losing your wallet with your ID, passport and potentially all of your money and cards and other valuables could be really problematic,” Cain said.

Cain had simple advice for students interested in studying abroad.

“If you have the means to go to a different country to study for a semester, do it. Make sure to really immerse yourself in the local culture,” Cain said. “Speak the language, eat what the locals eat and make friends with people who aren’t from your country. The experience is far more enriching that way.”

Several students studying at the University of Glasgow in Scotland had something to say about the state of affairs in Europe, among them sophomore Lydia Schlitt.

“Attacks on human life with the intent to foster fear are a tragedy that plague the world we live in,” Schlitt said. “The attacks in Paris and other cities were horrific, and I empathize with the family and friends of the victims. However, we do nothing but aid the aggressors if we run and hide out of fear.”

Schlitt has a message for students having doubts about studying abroad.

“There is a difference between fear and caution,” she said. “Being cautious when you travel is no more than an application of looking both ways when you cross the street. Why let fear dictate your life? Enjoy the benefits of being young and not being tied down to anything. Travel the world. Just be careful and smart about the decisions you make.”

Sophomore Lesli Marchese, also currently at the University of Glasgow, said terrorism is not a concern at the front of most students’ minds.

“We’re going to Paris in a few weeks, and no one’s particularly concerned,” Marchese said. “It just doesn’t affect us here.”

Students interested in a semester abroad can find more information on VikingWeb. The deadline for fall 2015 study abroad application is March 1.

Leave a Reply