Study Abroad Monitors Ebola for Traveling Students

“Study Abroad Monitors Ebola for Traveling Students”

by Lindsey Clark via “Vindette Online”

(Adam Weiss/Staff Photographer) Senior criminal justice major Conor Inf sanitizes his hands at the Student Services Building to stay healthy.

When news that Ebola had entered the U.S. broke in September, panic resulted for many residents.

However, while the threat of the foreign disease is now more tangible, it is unlikely that citizens need to fear.

Meanwhile, several strategies and precautions exist for students interested in the Study Abroad program at ISU they can take despite this threat.

“At this time the Office of International Studies and Programs does not have any students studying in Western Africa,” Samantha Potempa, Study Abroad coordinator, said.

“We are closely monitoring the Ebola situation, and will continue to do so.  If an ISU study abroad student was affected, we would work with the student to help them receive the necessary medical attention,” she said.

“Study abroad programs are wonderful things and the current Ebola situation is not one that should discourage students,” Dr. Ben Sadd, assistant professor of Infectious Disease Ecology, said.

As of now, it is advisable not to travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia. This is where outbreaks have been the most severe here, but outside of these countries, risk is negligible, Sadd said.

The best way students can educate themselves on foreign diseases is by doing research. Doing research when travelling or planning to travel to unfamiliar destinations should be a top priority for any traveler.  . . .

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UMass Resumes Study Abroad Program to Israel Next Semester

“UMass Resumes Study Abroad Program to Israel Next Semester”

by Diane Lederman via “MassLive

Palestinians seen celebrating news of  truce with Israel

AMHERST – With conditions improved in Israel since the August ceasefire, the University of Massachusetts study abroad program there will resume there in the spring.

This summer, the university suspended its program as Israel and Hamas were engaged in battle launching rockets to and from Gaza

“The situation has calmed down,” said Jack Ahern, 
vice provost for International Programs. Both sides agreed to a ceasefire Aug. 26.

Also Ahern said the U.S. Department of State has modified its stance. The department in the summer advised the deferral of any non-essential travel.

That advisory has been lifted but still warns of risks traveling to the region.

The university meanwhile has no programs in theWest African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where thousands have been infected with the Ebola virus. UMass has programs in Tanzania and South Africa, Ahern said.

He said if there were programs in the effected countries, they would advise against travel there. . . . .

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“The Study Abroad Scam”

“The Study-Abroad Scam: 

Finding the Right Study Abroad Program”

by Rebecca Schuman via “Slate.com

Too many programs take your money but give you little in return— or enrich your skimming university. Here’s how to choose the right one.

A tourist in Paris.

Finals might be over for the year, but summer is peak study-abroad season, so for many American college students, a new adventure begins: Overstuffed backpacks! Malaria shots! The superpack of Durexes (alas, to remain unused)!
The vast majority of study-abroad programs are eligible for financial aid—but does that make them a bargain? These days, a number of college study-abroad programs are less about cultural enrichment, and more about enriching the for-profit companies that run them—or, ugh, the universities themselves, which often get foreign tuition for a steal, and then pass none of the savings along to students.
The New York state Legislature is concerned about this: Both its chambers have sponsored bills (one by Republican Kenneth LaValle; the other by Democrat Deborah Glick) that would require the state’s universities to disclose the actual costs of their study-abroad programs—including any perquisites (that is, free stuff) offered to university employees in exchange for enrollment. The bill comes, Inside Higher Edreports, as a result of an investigation begun in 2007 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (then attorney general), in which he suspected universities were “being unduly influenced by perks like free or subsidized overseas travel and commissions on student fees.”
As the number of students going abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades, hundreds of unscrupulous ventures have popped up to meet students’demand for the broadening of horizons (and, OK, the lowering of the drinking age). The red flags of a foreign-exchange flimflam artist can be pretty easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. But many of those warning signs become obscured once a program has been given a university’s official partnership and good name. . . . .

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“China, US Go Tit for Tat over Student Spying Cases”

In response to the previous article talking about the US Espionage Video.  I’m not sure how much of it is true, but I pretty much find it despicable that any nation would endanger the welfare and futures of students in that manner.

“China, US Go Tit for Tat over Student Spying Cases”

by Julie Makinin via “Stripes.com

“BEIJING — Call it a 21st-century version of Mad magazine’s Spy vs. Spy.

Three weeks after the FBI rolled out an odd, ripped-from-the-headlines microfilm about an American college student who was recruited to spy for Beijing, China has now released its own, very similar tales of young Chinese students being lured into espionage activities by foreign agents.

The student spying stories come as the U.S. is trying to encourage more Americans to study in China, and as China has become the biggest source of foreign students in U.S. colleges and universities. Continue reading

“Students Studying Abroad Encounter Unexpected Costs”

“Students Studying Abroad Encounter Unexpected Costs”

by Cait Conner, Rachel Peterson, and Eric Gerken via “Des Moines Register

MARIA COCHRAN-1170x626.jpg

“Steffi Lee had been told about all the expected costs she might encounter while studying abroad from Simpson College of Indianola. Then, something unexpected came up.

A $530 monthly stipend to help Lee, a 20-year-old sophomore, with costs while working as a teacher’s assistant at Krosno State College in Poland did not come.

Lee hadn’t been told she had to apply for a work permit before she could receive her stipend, which was to cover food and travel. “We had to check into the work permit laws, which Simpson and Krosno hadn’t known they had changed. … I didn’t get my stipend until a month living in Poland,” she said.

Lee’s story is an example of the kinds of additional costs that are not accounted for before college students go overseas as part of their studies.

The unanticipated costs can range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the person spending the money. Blame can be spread around to students who do not prepare well enough but also colleges’ travel abroad directors who do not tell students enough about additional costs, several students at different small college in Iowa said in interviews.

“Study abroad directors need to know if they need to update their paperwork and regulation information before people get stuck in another country, and being promised one thing and told another thing before they get to that country,” Lee said in one those interviews, for an IowaWatch investigation by senior journalism students at Simpson College into the hidden costs of overseas study. . . . .”

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FBI Video Warns of an Unexpected Hazard of Study Abroad

“FBI Video Warns of an Unexpected Hazard of Study Abroad”

by Maura Lerner via “StarTribune

 

If you’re thinking about studying abroad, you can add this to your list of worries: A foreign government might try to turn you into a spy.

That’s the message in a new video released by the FBI. It dramatizes the tale of Glenn Duffie Shriver, a Michigan college student who went to Shanghai for his junior year abroad, and was eventually recruited by Chinese government officials to apply for jobs with the CIA and State Department. He was caught by the FBI, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Study abroad, according to the FBI, “makes these students tempting and vulnerable targets for recruitment by foreign intelligence officers whose long-term goal is to gain access to sensitive or classified U.S. information. Glenn Shriver — prodded by foreign intelligence officers into eventually applying for U.S. government jobs — cited his naivety as a key factor in his actions.”

And it all started, according to the FBI, when he answered an English-language ad to write a paper for $120.

The agency said it made the video, “Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story” as a cautionary tale. “We’d like American students traveling overseas to view this video before leaving the U.S. so they’re able to recognize when they’re being targeted and/or recruited.” . . . . 

READ ORIGINAL AND SEE FBI FILM

“Travel Warnings and Advisories”

“Travel Warnings and Advisories” 

by The Independent Traveler

“These days, you’re probably not planning a trip to Iraq or Afghanistan — the United States and other developed nations are currently advising citizens against all non-essential travel to these countries. But a government travel warning doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea to plan a trip to a particular part of the world. In fact, within the past few years the governments of the U.S., Canada and the U.K. have also released warnings about the following countries: Thailand, Mexico, China, India and the United States. . . . “