Post Paris Tragedy: Is Le Moyne restricting study abroad?

Rachel Chea

More stories from Rachel Chea

The Single Life
March 23, 2017

In the wake of the recent terrorism attacks in Paris that took place three weeks ago, Syracuse University released a statement to Time Warner Cable News stating that its study abroad center is reviewing protocols surrounding all trips and programs abroad, and even discouraging travel to certain European, North African, and Middle Eastern cities.

While the staff in the office of Global Education at Le Moyne is not going as far as to tell students they cannot travel to certain destinations, Assistant Director of Global Education, Hui Chen said that Le Moyne is doing everything they can to ensure that current and future students who study abroad are well informed and safe.

Le Moyne students are now studying in countries such as England, Ireland, Spain, Chile, Italy, Germany, India, Australia, and Costa Rica, according to Chen. .  

Shortly after the events in Paris occurred, Chen said she was quick to check in with these students, requesting their current location and contact information to ensure that they were all safe.

“I feel like it is even safer now than before because the national security in these countries are tighter and more aware of possible threats,” Chen said.

As of right now, Chen and the office of Global Education at Le Moyne are not considering or implementing any travel or study restrictions on students. They are, however, going to put more emphasis on safety for this upcoming semester and in the future.

“I don’t think Le Moyne should restrict students…there is so much the world has to offer and to disable that or restrict it is to do a disservice to everyone,” said senior Brigid Heslin. Heslin, who is currently studying in Ireland, said that she was in Scotland the weekend the attacks in Paris occurred.

“Originally we wanted to go to Paris, but when we looked at flights, it was 40 Euros cheaper to go to Scotland…it’s crazy to think what would have happened if the flight to Paris was cheaper,” Heslin said.

“I don’t think restricting travel is the answer; we shouldn’t let ISIS dictate where we go,” said junior Colette Cook. Cook, who is studying in Galway, Ireland believes that what needs to be done is to educate students before they go abroad, and inform them of the risks.

“The scariest part about the attacks in Paris was that they seemed to be in random spots that anyone could be in,” Cook continued. “I was in Paris a few weeks before; I could have been in that restaurant.” Cook continued by saying that in the following days, her program manager outlined the risks and went over safety procedures in case of an attack or emergency.

Chen added that these recent events might persuade students or make them consider studying abroad in other locations such as Asia or even different parts of Europe other than Western Europe, which seem to be more popular.

“I don’t really know what I feel on the restrictions because more things can happen anywhere; these events are a part of our reality now,” said junior Amanda D’Angelo. “I will say that I am more excited to return home than I was before; I feel much safer near my family.”

D’Angelo, currently studying in Madrid, added that she has continued her travels as planned, but is being more cautious and observant in public places and airports as well as trying to avoid overly crowded places. “The school has [also] reevaluated its field trips; It’s all very scary, but also not scary at the same time.”

Back at Le Moyne, Chen reiterated that she believes it is safer now than before.

“People shouldn’t be hesitant to study abroad or even travel because of this situation,” Chen continued. “Study abroad contributes to educating this generation to learn about different cultures and appreciate them; to understand and build the bridge to bring peace to the world.”