Ms. Hanson’s article is disingenuous about the risks posed by studying abroad. Granted, being away from home and the comforts of the United States can “seem” very scary, but there are relatively few cases of crime or violence against students studying abroad when you take in the full volume of students going abroad.
AU Abroad does its utmost to prepare students for the risks and dangers of studying abroad, in addition to providing them health insurance, among other protections. Private security companies are a complex matter with very real, sometimes disturbing implications and should not be tossed about as an idea without thoughtful analysis.
AU students should not be dissuaded from going abroad because of Ms. Hanson’s piece. Please take the time to research your study abroad options and take care to look at the potential risks, but be aware that perceptions of danger are very relative.
For example, no greater terrorist target exists than Washington, D.C., yet hundreds of thousands of people live, work and play here every day. We all collectively take the risk to live here because the benefits of culture, politics and education far outweigh the costs of perceived fears.
AU students, please do not allow yourselves to be dissuaded by fear.
Office of International Affairs