Saturday, November 25

UCLA students continue studying abroad despite recent terror attacks


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Terrorist attacks have not deterred some students who have previously studied abroad or plan to study abroad this summer.

A suicide bombing on May 22 killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others, after a concert by singer Ariana Grande.

No UCLA students were studying in Manchester, England, said UCLA spokesperson Brian Haas, and UC Santa Barbara students studying at the University of Manchester were safe, according to the Daily Nexus.

Although the University of California Education Abroad Program and campus study abroad offices provide resources for students, incidents that affect students still happen.

For example, UC Berkeley lost two students to terror attacks in separate incidents in France and Bangladesh.

Tarishi Jain, a second-year student from UC Berkeley, died in a terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that began July 1, according to the Daily Californian. Nick Leslie, a third-year student in the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, died in the July 14 attack in Nice, France, while on a study abroad program with the campus. Three other students were injured in the same attack.

Inés DeRomaña, director for UCEAP’s international health, safety and emergency response, said in an email that all UCEAP programs in the U.K. will continue as scheduled.

She added UCEAP provides resources for students and parents to prepare for international experiences and emergency situations.

For example, UCEAP compiles a number of government contacts, safety tips and other advice in its safety guidebook for its programs.

Myla Edmond, spokesperson for UCEAP, said in an email that UCEAP will continue to keep student safety a top priority and work closely with staff, faculty, the U.S. government and international organizations.

“(UCEAP works with partners) to share critical security and health information, monitor threats, reassess plans and strategies and coordinate communication,” Edmond said. “UCEAP also partners with local faculty and staff and host country officials to coordinate emergency planning and response.”

Some students said that though they were concerned about past attacks or potential emergency situations, they did not consider safety as a primary factor when deciding where or whether to study abroad.

Freddie Alamazan, a fifth-year sociology student who studied in Rio de Janeiro said he was mugged twice but has no regrets about studying abroad.

“It could have all been avoided with common sense,” Alamazan said. “But, these incidents did open my eyes a bit more. I became more aware of my surroundings.”

Tara White, a second-year psychobiology student, said she thinks terror attacks have become normalized for her because they are relatively common, and added recent incidents have not affected her decision to study in Scotland this summer.

“I’m not one of those people who feels the need to have fear at the news of every attack,” she said. “I’ll take precautions, especially in huge cities, because my parents were afraid that big cities were targeted (for attacks), but it’s not worth it to have that fear factor.”

She added the attack in Manchester and a January 2016 suicide bombing in Istanbul showed that attacks could happen anywhere.

Ariela Feitelberg, a fourth-year psychobiology student who studied abroad in England in 2015, said at the time, she was not concerned about safety while there. She added that during the trip she wanted to visit Paris, but decided not to after a beheading in Lyon, France in June 2015.

“I’m more alert about traveling now,” Feitelberg said. “But, you can’t live in constant fear. When you’re in an actual city or country, you don’t feel the threat as much as you do when you’re hearing about it on the news.

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