Students Go Despite World Troubles

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, air travel has dropped sharply. However, student travel and study abroad does not seem to be following the same trend.

?We haven?t seen any [decrease] in student interest in study abroad opportunities,? said Mona Miller, director of faculty led programs for International Study Abroad.

Although actual application numbers are still unknown, many students have been inquiring about studying abroad, Miller said.

?I always tell students they are safer outside of the United States than inside, and I think that?s especially true now,? she said.

Every year, International Study Abroad?a company at Wednesday?s International Fair?sends out about 1,500 students, and a drop is not expected this year, Miller said.

The company is not pulling any of its programs out of any country, she said.

The University of Utah International Center has been using student interest as a gauge for the effects of Sept. 11, said Aaron Rose, study abroad adviser.

All deadlines for study abroad had been set before Sept. 11. An Alternate Spring Break to Nicaragua was planned, but Rose and others were afraid it wouldn?t be filled. However, by the Oct. 1 deadline, it was completely filled.

?I?m hoping this is a trend this year,? Rose said.

Students have been asking more questions about safety, but all travelers should be asking those questions regardless of the situation, Rose said.

The International Center has not officially dropped any programs, but if students do not sign up, the program does not happen, he said.

One program takes students to Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan. It has no participants currently, so as of now, it won?t happen.

However, a program to Kenya next summer had 44 applicants for 22 slots, said Mike Allcott, associate director of the International Center.

The least affected regions are Latin America and Western Europe, Allcott said.

?After the attacks, maybe a lot of students are recognizing the need for a better international education,? Allcott said.

Student travel has not shown any significant decrease, according to Jennifer Nuttall, manager of Council Travel?s Salt Lake Office.

?We specialize in student travel, so we haven?t really been affected,? she said. ?Some of our older customers were more leery after the attacks, but the students have been travelling.?

[email protected]