When Upstate college students return to classes after winter break, hundreds of them will be studying in foreign countries all across the world as part of study abroad programs.
The numbers are down from the fall semester, but Nancy Georgiev, assistant director of Furman University’s Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education, said that has nothing to do with the November terror attacks in France and threats in Brussels that prompted Furman to bring students studying in Brussels home two weeks early.
This semester, 95 students were abroad as a part of faculty-led programs, she said. In the spring semester, 46 students will be studying abroad, but none in Paris or Brussels.
“Fall is always more popular among our students for study-abroad programs,” she said.
Wofford, ranked sixth by the Institute of International Education for percentage of students studying abroad for credit in 2015, has 89 students registered to study abroad in the spring semester, said Amy Lancaster, dean of international programs at the school. Other students will study overseas during the school’s January interim period.
“Through creating globally educated students, we aim to meet the college’s mission of preparing them ‘for extraordinary and positive contributions to society,’” Lancaster said. “Especially in tumultuous times, this mission rings true.”
Both schools have incident management teams that monitor U.S. State Department travel alerts and world conditions. Both also have evacuation plans in case students have to be moved in an emergency, which includes floods and earthquakes.
Brussels is on the list for Furman’s 2016-17 study-abroad offerings right now.
“There are always risks and unknowns out there,” she said. “Our risk management committee discusses the risks, how to manage them, whether to re-route a particular program or not have it.”
The deadline for applications is Jan. 18.