#TB outbreak

Yay! Not! 4 students at my University have been confirmed to have #tb 😷 We’ve had an outbreak before and it isn’t pretty.  20,000 students and more teachers have to be tested and checked. 😱
#Diseases like this aren’t uncommon in some countries still. We’ve now had #Cholera, TB, and some other issues in the 3 years I’ve lived abroad. 
So if you #travel or #studyabroad or #teach internationally, be careful. Wash your hands👍, wear the #masks 😷, Avoid coughing or sneezing people 👄. Only eat food you’ve seen cleaned or well-cooked food🍴.  Drink bottled or boiled water ☕. Wash any dishes in boiling water, even at restaurants where dishes come wrapped! Sleep, take your vitamins, and drink orange juice!
#China #tourist #sick #health #safety #travelsafety #stayhealthy

Study Abroad Programs Addresses a Risk – Road Fatalaties

Study Abroad Programs Addresses a Risk – Road Fatalaties

by Tanya Mohn via “New York Times

The number of Americans who study abroad in credit-earning programs has more than tripled in the last two decades to reach a high of nearly 304,500 in the 2013-14 academic year, and the number studying in non-European countries has nearly doubled in the last decade to 118,625, the Institute of International Education said.

“The problem is educating students in something they are not used to thinking about,” said Inés DeRomaña. She is director of international health, safety and emergency response for the University of California system’s Education Abroad Program, which sends 5,600 students, from all 10 campuses, overseas annually, including to remote areas.

Road fatalities are a risk for young people everywhere. They are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults in the United States and worldwide, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization show. But the concern for educators is that students heading abroad may not consider some uniquely local risks of road travel — particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where W.H.O. figures indicate about 90 percent of the globe’s road-traffic deaths occur.

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Facts you should know to study abroad unafraid

**This article is specifically directed to Auburn students, but the information in it is pretty valid for other University Study Abroad Programs too. Worth a Glance. :)**DB

“Facts You Should Know to Study Abroad Unafraid”

By Ariel Cochran via “The Auburn Plainsman”

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International crises heighten study-abroad awareness

“International crises heighten study-abroad awareness”

by Vanessa Miller via “The Gazette

Today, it’s Belgium. Before, it was France.

There also is Brazil, where the Zika virus is rampant. And tomorrow could bring an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane somewhere else.

The drumbeat of terror attacks, health risks and natural disaster crises around the world has directors of growing university study-abroad programs continually monitoring international security updates and advisories. Program heads on Iowa’s campuses were paying attention Tuesday, for example, when news broke of more terror attacks — this time in Brussels.

None of Iowa’s three public universities have students studying abroad in Belgium right now, but Iowa State University — for one — has an exchange program planned there in spring 2017. ISU’s study abroad director, Trevor Nelson, said he doesn’t foresee Tuesday’s attacks derailing that program.

“But we have to monitor the situation and make the best determination about whether you are putting students in harm’s way,” he said. “At this point, I don’t believe we are in a position to put that program on hold.”

Nelson said study abroad programs these days have to be “more diligent in terms of monitoring what is happening in other parts of the world.” But, he said, that’s not necessarily indicative of a more dangerous international study environment.

Rather, he credited it — among other things — to a rise in students taking advantage of the opportunity.

“It’s partly a facet of the number of students who are now studying abroad,” he said. “And they are going to every continent.”

When Nelson started as the ISU study abroad director 25 years ago, about 200 students were involved. In the 2015 budget year, ISU sent 1,633 students oversees through a variety of study programs to every continent including Antarctica.

“And the type of students who are studying abroad has changed as well,” he said. “Twenty-five years ago, those who went on semester long programs tended to be self-starters and more independent and resilient than today.” . . . .

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What To Do If You Are a Tourist in Paris Right Now

Students stay safe! We’re thinking and praying for you! **DB

“What To Do If You Are a Tourist in Paris Right Now”

by Yahoo Travel Editions

The world is watching the horrifying developments after a series of attacks Friday night in the French capital of Paris.

Situations like this are terrifying for anyone in the city, but especially so for the tens of thousands of tourists who are there right now. Not knowing the local streets, having anyone to turn to in a crisis or speaking the language adds another layer of fright to an already scary situation.

Here are a few of the things you should do if you are visiting Paris right now.

1. Find shelter. In a wonderful display of humanity, locals are offering up their homes and businesses using the hashtag #porteouverte or “open door” to let people know they have a safe place to stay. Alternatively you can tweet #porteouverte along with your location to try to find a place to stay.

Local hotels are also offering shelter and assistance to get you safely where you need to go. Use Google maps to find the closest one.

2. Get cash. You don’t want to be caught in any kind of crisis without local currency. If you can safely get to an ATM, do so and try to have at least a couple hundred dollars in euros available to you.

3. Account for everyone in your group. Confirm the whereabouts of everyone traveling with you. If any family or group members are missing, first check with the hotel and then inform the local embassy or consulate for your home country. The State Department (U.S.), Foreign Office(U.K.), or other local diplomatic authority will maintain a list of their citizens who have been killed, are missing, are injured, or have been accounted for.

4. Check in back home. Inform family and friends back home of your whereabouts and situation as soon as possible. Amid the confusion and devastation following an attack, it can be hard for people to get word out to loved ones via phone. Consider alternative forms of communication, such as social media accounts or email.

5. Follow @TravelGov on social media. This will give you real-time updates and instructions.

6. Touch base with the local American Embassy. It’s their job to help you, and they can better assist if they know where you are and what your situation is. Plus, “It’s comforting to know that someone knows you’re there,” says Andrea Ross, owner of travel company Journeys Within.

7. Avoid crowds. In the wake of a crisis, don’t use public transportation during rush hour. Instead, travel at off-peak times or use a licensed taxi. And stay away from crowds and congested areas. “People are on edge, so if they think something is happening and panic, there could be a stampede or other dangerous situation,” advises Ross.

8. Be extra alert. “Very often people on holiday let down their guards and are not as aware of what’s going on around,” explains the State Department’s Michelle Bernier Toth, Managing Director for Overseas Citizen Services. “Look for things like unattended packages, weird behavior, and people overdressed for the environment,” says George Taylor, VP of Global Operations at integrated risk management company iJet.

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France – Watch Out for the Infamous Paris String or Friendship Bracelet Scam

“France – Watch Out for the Infamous Paris String or Friendship Bracelet Scam”

Via “Corporate Travel Safety”

A Famous Tourist Scam in Paris, France

You’ll find this scam is one of the top  scams in Paris, France. It’s been around for many years, (because it works) and is known as the “Friendship Bracelet Scam” the “Paris String Scam” or by the name given to those who try to commit the scam on you, “Bracelet Pushers.” The scam is committed by who many describe as “string men” or as local Paris merchants call them “con-merchants.” Non-french speaking tourists are targeted the most. While the Paris Friendship Bracelet Scam is popular in Paris, it can also be found at many tourist locations outside of Paris in France too, and to a lesser extent in other countries such as Italy and Spain.

Paris Friendship or String Scam

Where the String Scam Occurs

One of the most common Paris locations where you’ll find the Friendship Bracelet Scam practiced is throughout the Montmartre area.  Specifically the scammers will target tourists and first time visitors as they approach and walk up the giant staircase that leads from the Metro to the Sacre Coeur area of the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. This is a popular stomping ground for tourists and is Montmartre’s leading tourist attraction, and probably the most-visited church in Paris. Visitors to Paris should also be aware that this scam is also prevalent at many of the Metro lines and stations that  you travel on to get to this location.

The “string men” seem to usually target female tourists (but not always) as they enter the small fenced square below Sacré-Coeur and proceed toward the stairs that run up the hillside.  You can spot the “string men” as they are usually lined up on the sides of the stairs leading to the Sacre-Coeur. These innocent looking people are annoying “con-merchants” who have the “Paris String Scam” honed down to a science.

How the String Scam Plays Out

The scam begins like this. One of the “‘string men” walks up to you and engages you in innocent conversation and will usually say that they want to show you a magic trick.  Before you know it, a “string man” has grabbed your wrist or one or two fingers and encircled it with a homemade bracelet of colored string.

Typically the string men will say something to you like “it’s for the church” or “a gift.”  Sometimes the string men are more polite (they’ll ask the visitor to hold a string) and before you know it, the string men will somehow manage to grab your wrist or fingers and encircle it with a homemade bracelet of colored string, yarn, or other crafty-looking item.

Next, when the string men finish making your new “local Paris string bracelet souvenir,” they will demand payment of around €20 which is quite obviously not what the bracelet is worth. If you fail to pay them, they will doggedly follow you and be VERY insistent that you provide some amount of payment. These “con-merchants” are so demanding, they succeed in intimidating many tourists into paying them because it’s the only way to get rid of them.

Another variation of this scam occurs when the string men find a couple and offer the woman a  friendship bracelet.  When the woman kindly denies, the scammer tells her there is no charge.  To get the scammer to leave them alone, the woman offers her wrist and the scammer ties the “Friendship Bracelet” on her wrist.  A second scammer then appears and offers another “Friendship Bracelet” to the man. The man thinks to himself, “well if they are free why not?” and then he offers his wrist to the scammer.  Once the Friendship Bracelets are tied onto the wrists . . . .

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Studying abroad in conflict zones: Reckless or rewarding?

“Studying abroad in conflict zones: Reckless or rewarding?”

by Sanya Mansoor via “Christian Science Monitor

Should universities support students and faculty when they travel to dangerous countries for research or study abroad programs?

Some say their passion may overpower their concerns.

The potential to help activists and scholars outweighs the risks posed by an unstable country, argues Peter Levine, a Tufts University professor. Next month, he will lead a conference in Ukraine, even though the US State Department has flagged the former Soviet republic as dangerous for travel. The summit will focus on civics, in part because the country exemplifies the struggles of a fledgling democracy.

But the risks are real.

Mr. Pochter, who traveled to Egypt through a private education group, was killed during clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi, then the president of Egypt, The New York Times reported.

When countries are perceived as conflict zones, their popularity as study-abroad sites for American students inevitably declines, notes the AP. . . .

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