By Brian Riley
LIU Post has two upcoming study abroad opportunities, including a trip to Peru during the winter break, and a service project in Puerto Rico during spring break.
Yet, on Nov. 24, LIU Information sent out an e-mail notifying students that the State Department has recently issued a Worldwide Travel Alert to U.S. citizens. According to the alert, “Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” according to trave.state.gov. The report advises about possible targeted locations, such as large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services.
The only international course being offered during the winter semester is an Andean History, Culture, and Politics course in Peru. Professor William Hiatt said, “The course combines rigorous classroom study with cultural excursions in and around Cuzco.” The course is split 50/50 between class work and excursions through Cuzco. There are currently 12 enrolled in the course now. The number of courses available was not impacted by current threats, seeing as the classes have to be approved a year earlier, according to Director of the Study Abroad Program, Patricia Seaman.
The travel alert offered students some tips on how to keep safe in foreign countries. The main focus is for students to be alert at all times. One of the tips was to avoid large crowds and heavily crowded places, especially during holiday season. Another tip was to monitor the media, and local information sources.
The alert also suggested signing up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By regisering for STEP, U.S. citizens enroll their trip with the closest U.S. Embassy. The embassy will help to keep you informed and help your family keep in contact with you in an emergency. Students who register for a study abroad course are
all automatically enrolled in the STEP program, according to Seaman.
Seaman said, “We realize that situations are constantly evolving and can change quickly. If, based on the information received, we feel that any of our program locations are not safe; we will not hesitate to arrange to modify plans accordingly. Post is doing this by closely monitoring The Overseas Security and Advisory Council messages and other news sites.