College Students Not Deterred from Studying Abroad Despite Turmoil
Last month’s attacks on the East Coast haven’t dissuaded Melissa Palombo, a 21-year-old Spanish major, from her plans to a semester-long study abroad in Costa Rica. But Palombo, a senior at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, says her mother isn’t too thrilled about her going to Central America.
“I don’t think she’s as nervous about me getting there or being there as she is about me being able to get home in three months, because you don’t know what’s going to be happening,” Palombo said in a telephone interview from her Endicott, N.Y., home.
Regardless of what may happen, American students such as Palombo, along with the estimated 500,000 foreign students attending U.S. schools, don’t appear to be changing their plans to study abroad.
The programs send college students to study at schools in other countries for a semester or academic year.
During the 1998-99 school year, the most recent year for which data was available, roughly 130,000 American students studied abroad, according to the Institute for International Education.
Hey-Kyung Coh, a spokeswoman for the New York institute that monitors and administers foreign study programs, says few students have asked to come home or cancel their plans. No programs have been canceled, she says.
Carl Herrin, spokesman for the American Councils for International Education, a Washington group that sends 200 students to the former Soviet Union, said the attacks likely will prompt a drop-off in participation in the spring — but not for long.
“While numbers were down in the spring of the Gulf War, they rebounded very strongly in the summer and next fall,” he says.
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