Her itinerary was planned. Her affairs were in order. Her heart was set. Then the news broke: three suicide bombers struck Paris, killing more than 100 people.
Amber Hill, a 19-year-old LPC student, immediately thought of her plans to study abroad in London in the summer. The terrorist attacks sent shockwaves around the globe, especially for many students looking to travel internationally. But these events weren’t enough to scare away Hill.
Travel sans fear.
“While there are scary things going on in the world, it doesn’t mean that you should stop your life,” Hill, a theater major, said. “Plus, we’re young and we’ve got to take these opportunities.”
Fears of terrorism are not deterring the study abroad trips available through Las Positas. Nor has it curbed interest, as the learning experiences that come from being immersed in other cultures are apparently far too valuable to pass up because of fear.
The school has reassured students and their families that there are adequate safety measures set in place to protect them while away.
Jefferey Zimmerman is in charge of the Austria study abroad program. When worried parents confront him with these concerns, he’s got it covered.
“Student safety is the number one priority of study abroad programs,” said Zimmerman. “While terrorist attacks happen even in the USA, traveling overseas is still very safe.”
This is why they have comprehensive insurance policies that cover evacuation for medical emergencies and natural disasters (including terrorist attacks). Patricia Stokke, a professor at Las Positas, also recommends pay-as-you-go phones in case of emergency. But, in order to really get the cultural experience one set out for, she encourages to only use them when necessary.
“Traveling abroad in many places in the world is as safe as you might find in your hometown in the USA,” said Zimmerman.
Michelle Roque, a 20 year old Las Positas student, explained she would rather go explore and try new things than stay home due to fear. Hill agreed.
She’s continuing her GoFundMe campaign and will be flying out in late July with fellow theater students.
“It was definitely a factor of going, with everything that’s been happening and the dangers going overseas and such,” Hill said, “but with student housing and a 24 hour service for any student concerns, I feel safe and do really trust the program.”