The U.S. State Department issued a terrorism warning for travelers in Europe on Oct. 4, but so far the notification has not significantly affected the 200 Georgetown students studying across the pond this semester.

The Office of International Programs has security measures in place in case of emergency, but does not believe that students’ plans abroad will be compromised.

“Hopefully, the alert won’t affect them at all,” Kathy Bellows, executive director of international programs, said. “But we’re fairly confident that we can handle emergencies if they arise.”

Before going abroad, all students must register with the nearest U.S. Embassy and attend an orientation to learn about safety. The university also uses International SOS, a company that provides emergency assistance to students overseas in case of a medical or security crisis.

Many students found the warning unexpected, though parents showed concern.

“When the warning reached the front page of our local newspaper the day before I was due to leave the states, the first commentary from my dad was `Just stay out of public places, OK?'” said Jessica Schieder (SFS ’12), who is studying abroad in Munich for the year. “I found such a request unrealistic and I spent my first night at Oktoberfest, singing on top of a table protesting with several thousand Germans, as well as a fellow study abroad student.”

Other students noted the danger behind the warning, but have not changed their lifestyle or travel plans.

“I’d say the general feeling is unease at being reminded of this reality, but most people feel just about as endangered in New York as they do in any European city,” Roseann Day (COL ’12, who is studying abroad in Rome,] said. “No one has changed any travel plans as far as I know.”

Maria Edmundson (COL ’12) provided THE HOYA with a copy of the email her program, Sweet Briar College Junior Year in France, sent to students. “Students should carry their cell phone with them at all times, stay away from tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and temporarily avoid wearing their college T-shirts in public,” the email read.

In response to the recent travel alert, the OIP has also sent out a message to students abroad and their parents to make them aware of the situation.

“I did receive the study abroad advisory email that warned us of the increased terrorism concerns,” Gabriella Hook (COL ’12), who is spending the year at Oxford University, said. “I probably will tend to be more cautious and avoid traveling for the next few weeks. It’s definitely not what I wanted to hear as soon as I arrived in Europe.”

Still, most students said the warning does not weigh heavily on their minds. Bellows said that this was a reasonable stance.

“Basically, [the alert] just says be smart and know your environment,” Bellows said. “Behaviors don’t need to change. But if something were to go wrong, we would address the incident

immediately.”

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