Universities keep close eye on study abroad locations

Universities and colleges across the area say they’re constantly assessing the stability of countries with study abroad programs to ensure the safety of students headed there.

Wright State University students have an opportunity to study at more than 40 countries across the globe, and the university says it’s constantly evaluating those programs to make sure they’re as safe, educational and as secure as possible.

Cedarville University has students studying abroad in 11 different locations — Spain, United Kingdom, China, India, Lithuania, Ghana, Romania, Israel, Uganda, Ireland and New Zealand.

Mark Weinstein, spokesman for Cedarville, said a lot of work takes place before a location is established or students arrive there.

Those steps include site visits with an in-depth tour of the campus or location; interview of the faculty and administration; tour of campus and community housing; and evaluation of the curriculum, according to Weinstein.

“Paramount in our study abroad program is the safety of each student and the quality of education the students could receive,” Weinstein said in an email. “If either are compromised, Cedarville University will move in a different direction.”

At Miami University, the director of global initiatives, Cheryl Young, works closely with overseas agencies the university contracts with for health, safety and related issues for students and faculty, said Claire Wagner, university spokeswoman, in an email.

Young is also briefed by the state department’s travel advisories.

“She is discussing planned study abroad programs for winter and spring terms with others today,” Wagner said.

Wagner said Miami University doesn’t have any students currently in Paris or other parts of France this semester, but did learn on Friday that seven students from the Luxembourg campus were visiting Paris for the weekend. They were accounted for and safe.

At Central State University, study abroad programs are primarily offered to students in the spring and summer sessions, said spokeswoman Edwina Blackwell Clark.

The university’s Center for Global Education will consider current instability and security issues in various countries before sending the students, Blackwell Clark said. She offered as an example, this past summer a group of CSU students were supposed to go to Egypt, but with the instability and incidents near the Sinai Peninsula, the university decided to send those study abroad students to Mexico instead.