Worcester Telegram & Gazette: 'Colleges, students in Central Mass. undaunted by terror attacks overseas'

August 3, 2016

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette interviewed officials from area colleges and universities, including Clark University, about the impact of terrorism on students' study abroad plans.

Below, an excerpt:

" 'It’s a really complicated issue for a lot of schools,' said Clark University’s director of study-abroad and away programs, Adriane van Gils-Pierce.

"Ms. van Gils-Pierce, as well as officials at other colleges in the area, maintained that terrorism is just one of several risks inherent to international travel, and that it doesn’t change their basic approach to sending students abroad. None of the institutions reached by the Telegram & Gazette said they’re dropping any programs or destinations in Europe in response to the recent attacks, for example, nor are they placing stricter restrictions on the intercountry travels of their students overseas.

"Most said they are taking extra precautions by enhancing communication and coordination with students and third-party travel providers abroad, and increasing pretrip training and orientation. ...

"Clark University also experienced a decline in participation in its international studies programs for this fall, Ms. van Gils-Pierce said. She speculated that part of the reason only 35 students will be going abroad, about half the usual number, is that the Bataclan theater attack in Paris happened just before last fall’s signup deadline.

"But the likely fear aroused by the incident was apparently short-lived, she added; 95 students have since committed to studying abroad during the spring semester, nearly two-thirds of whom will be going to Europe."