web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Few US Colleges Canceling Israel Study Abroad Programs

Despite the violence in Israel this summer, few American universities have canceled study abroad programs in Israel this fall.
The study abroad program at American University in Washington, D.C. gave the green light to Israel programs this year.

The study abroad program at American University in Washington, D.C. gave the green light to Israel programs this year.
Photo Credit: Facebook

The on-again, off-again Gaza War of 2014 has few fatalities in the study abroad programs at U.S. colleges. In fact, there has only been one announced fatality: the International Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst informed students of theirs last week that Israel is no longer an acceptable option, due to the violence in the region.

Two UMass/Amherst students were enrolled in programs in Israel for this fall. One was supposed to begin in October, the other student was scheduled to start yesterday, according to Daniel Fitzgibbons, the school’s associate director for News and Media Relations.

The school’s International Risk Management team met, and they had to decide quickly, so that the students could make alternative arrangements. The vote was a thumbs down on study in Israel.

But UMass/Amherst’s experience was a little different than most schools. It had students working on an archeology project in Israel earlier this summer. Those students were there in the thick of the heaviest violence. And what really spooked the university was that the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority shut down Ben Gurion Airport to U.S. flights. The school had been looking at whether to pull out their students at the time, but once the exit was closed, people panicked. When the ban was lifted, the “six UMass/Amherst students were pulled out, just three or four days before their program ended.”

When asked why UMass/Amherst made the decision to bar its students from studying in Israel this fall when no other schools had, given that the risk assessments were based on the same information available to everyone, the school representative seemed a bit surprised.

“Penn State, Trinity College and Claremont College were all part of the same archeology program our students were on this summer,” Fitzgibbons said. “Those schools pulled their students out before we did.”  However, Claremont McKenna College in California, Trinity College in Connecticut and Penn State all still have study abroad programs in Israel on the approved lists on their websites.

Michigan State University also pulled its students from summer programs in Israel when the violence escalated; it has no academic year programs in Israel.

The UMass/Amherst International Risk Management team consists of members of the school administration and faculty, who consider input provided by the U.S. Department of State, the school’s insurance carrier and the school’s security consultants.

“Syria and Egypt have been off the list of approved sites for study abroad since the beginning of the Arab Spring,” Fitzgibbons explained. When asked Colombia – which has the same threat assessment level as does “Israel, the West Bank and Gaza” – is still on the list of eligible study abroad sites, he couldn’t answer.

“What about the American University in Beirut? That is still on the approved list,” The Jewish Press asked, pointing out that the bloodthirsty terrorist group ISIS took over a city in Lebanon just last week. But so far only Syria, Egypt and Israel/Gaza/West Bank are on the forbidden list.

Several schools did not return phone calls to inquiries today about their study abroad programs. The Western New England College of Law posted a notice on its website that the planned winter 2014 program will go forward unless the State Department warns against travel to Israel. It encouraged students to get travel insurance so that they are covered in either eventuality.

We are acutely aware of the ongoing hostilities in Israel and Gaza and are hopeful about a swift, peaceful resolution of the current conflict. The safety of our students is our highest priority.  This program will not run if the United States Department of State warns against travel to Israel.  If this program is cancelled, students who have made tuition, registration, or application payments toward it will get full refunds.  We strongly encourage students to get travel insurance to ensure that they are similarly insured against travel-related losses due to safety-related changes in the academic program. 

According to a recent report in a local Washington, D.C. outlet, American University has chosen to have its fall program in Israel go forward, but also gives students the option to cancel or defer their trips if they choose at no cost to them.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Few US Colleges Canceling Israel Study Abroad Programs”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Windows on the Jerusalem Light Rail smashed by Arab stone throwers.
Jerusalem Arabs Attack Light Rail in Shuafat, Again
Latest News Stories
Windows on the Jerusalem Light Rail smashed by Arab stone throwers.

Jerusalem’s Light Rail was attacked at least twice Thursday by Arabs hurling rocks in Shuafat — again.

Golders Green, London, 2011.

Neo-Nazis who planned to march July 4 through London’s Golders Green section must now relocate to the city center.

ISIS in Egypt, according to an image it posted on social media.

Hamas apparently aided ISIS-linked Sinai terrorists in attacking Egyptian Army soldiers.

Umbrellas over Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Municipality hung up umbrellas above Yoel Solomon street, to decorate the street with some color, and add some shade from the sun.

No gunshots, no shooter and no wounded after a scare at the Wash. DC Navy Yard.

Yochanan Danino also distributed 200 books written in his honor and called, “My Father, the Commissioner.”

“The Jewish people and the State of Israel owe an eternal debt to Nicholas Winton who singlehandedly saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday after hearing of his death. Winton died in Britain at the age of 106. He saved hundreds of Jewish children from the gas chambers […]

Police Thursday morning arrested a rabbi from Safed (Tzfat) whom a woman said raped her after giving her spiritual guidance several years ago. A second woman filed a complaint Wednesday night. The allegations were presented to rabbis in Tzfat last month, and rabbinical leaders, including Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, asked the alleged rapist to […]

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Nicholas Winton saved hundreds of Jewish children from the gas chambers but said nothing for nearly 50 years.

IDF okays Egypt’s heavy arms in Sinai. Al-Sisi claims it is in total control over the Sinai.

Iran has already been able to free up some 20% of its frozen assets, around $19 billion. At best, that’s without doing anything, and at worse, that’s while continuing to rush towards a nuclear bomb.

Egypt attacks jihadists with F-16 warplanes. Israel closes borders to Gaza and Egypt.

“The Donald” is in the number two spot, shared with Ben Carson, in Iowa and Michigan after a survey that already placed him in the second spot in New Hampshire.

Oren, now a representative of the Kulanu party in the Knesset, has moved on from diplomacy to politics.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
U.S. President Barack Obama

The President announced he will ignore the letter of the law he just signed because it protects Judea and Samaria.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Remind Sen. Chuck Schumer that he said any deal with Iran must include “anywhere, anytime” inspections.

The OU respects the process which led to the Obergefell decision, but prays religious liberty won’t be sacrificed.

Flotilla activists escorted to Ashdod after IDF deters them from attempting to illegally breach the maritime blockade of Gaza

Hillary Clinton failed to turn over email exchanges with Sidney Blumenthal about Benghazi attacks.

Drexel honors virulent Israel and US critic Noam Chomsky; Drexel Hillel rabbi is enthusiastically supportive.

Jewish American college students report being afraid to wear anything that identifies them as Jewish and told to “check their Jewish privilege.”

ADL’s Foxman slams Oren for mentioning Obama’s Muslim upbringing in an essay about Obama’s views on the Muslim world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/few-us-colleges-canceling-israel-study-abroad-programs/2014/08/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: