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University of Missouri study abroad policies amid terror attacks

The University of Missouri has more than 40 countries available for students in their study abroad program. Belgium, Turkey, and France are included in that list and all three had terrorist attacks in the last seven months.

ABC 17 News spoke with the University of Missouri about their study abroad program and if any policies had changed in light of these terror attacks.

Christian Basi with the University said the program is constantly watching the State Department’s warning list and bases decisions on what the State Department deems safe or unsafe.

The University has also formed the Student Travel Abroad Review committee. The committee reviews study abroad programs and proposal for programs and looks at different factors to determine if the students would be safe. One of the factors they look at is location and how near, or far, it is from an area the State Department is warning about. The committee then makes a recommendation to the university on whether or not to go ahead with that program.

Basi also said if a student feels unsafe and wants to come home, the University will do everything they can to accommodate that student.

According to the University of Missouri’s Study Abroad website, the university offers a summer course in Istanbul, Turkey. Just this week, Istanbul’s airport was attacked by three suicide bombers. The attack killed more than 30 people.

16 Journalism students from Mizzou were in Brussels when terrorists attacked the city’s metro system and airport. All 16 students, as well as faculty, were safe.

Students who have studied abroad say the university forwards them emails from the State Department about potentially dangerous situations.

Melissa Null was studying in England and travelling in Germany when the Brussels attack happened. Null said before they left for the semester, the university briefed the students on safety. Just a few months before, the Paris attack happened.

Null said the University urged the students to be aware of their surroundings and “be present” at large events and gatherings. But she said the University never discouraged them from visiting certain areas.

Null said on the day of the attack, her and her travel partner were a little more nervous but decided to continue on with their plans. Null said the attacks are “so random that you really can’t let it stop you from moving on with your life and your plans.”

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