International turmoil impacts Baylor's study abroad program

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2017-03-02 17:38:04-05

International crisis all around the world is discouraging students at Baylor from studying abroad.

Vice provost for Global Engagement, Dr. Jeff Hamilton said the number of Baylor bears who take classes internationally was on the rebound since the great recession. However, Hamilton said this summer there was a 5 percent decline - under 600 students traveled abroad compared to slightly more than 600 last summer.

He said international unrest is likely the reason for the decline. 

"Well I don’t think there’s any question that security issues are extremely significant to both students and their parents," Hamilton said. "Some parents are uncomfortable with having their children study abroad with the world so unsettled."

Dr. Les Palich, who is the Director of Baylor's Business in Europe study abroad, travels internationally with students twice each summer. He said uncertain parents can rest assured their children are in good hands.

"I’m fully confident that what we’re going to put them in will be safe and though we can’t eliminate all risks we’re certainly going to do our best to eliminate the risks that we can take care," Palich said. "It's job number one for us  to bring every student back safe and sound." 

Palich said that’s because safety training for faculty who travel abroad gets more sophisticated each year. Chaperones also receive international S.O.S. updates three times a day.

Students who want to travel abroad are also required to take certain modules and pass quizzes before they’re allowed to travel abroad.

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