While American universities abroad are beefing up security in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States' "new war" isn't curbing the enthusiasm of young people looking to study outside the country, according to educators.
"The terrorist events have people saying [that] international education, learning another culture, being a part of another culture is more important than ever," said Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education, which track programs for studying abroad as well as doling out the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.
Even before the attacks, enrollment in such programs was climbing fast; the number of students going abroad jumped 45 percent in the past four years, according to the IIE. More than 129,000 American students shipped off to see the world in 2000, and interest remains high despite the recent attacks.
Still, some students worry about their safety while outside the United States. The State Department keeps tabs on where it's safe to travel, and what risks exist, at any given time.
"We know a lot of people. including young people. have concerns about travel overseas since September 11." said Valerie Chittenden, a State Department spokesperson. "That's why we have this really good Web site ( travel.state.gov) with information sheets for every country in the world, especially areas we are concerned about since September 11."
If you're thinking of studying abroad, check out the Institute of International Education at www.iie.org or contact your school's administration. Students can also learn more about study-abroad issues at Open Doors on the Web: www.opendoorsweb.org.