Middlebury Schools Abroad:
School in the Middle East
- CV Starr-Middlebury School in the Middle East
- Brandeis University
- Ben Gurion University
- Middlebury Schools
AMHERST – With conditions improved in Israel since the August ceasefire, the University of Massachusetts study abroad program there will resume there in the spring.
This summer, the university suspended its program as Israel and Hamas were engaged in battle launching rockets to and from Gaza
“The situation has calmed down,” said Jack Ahern, vice provost for International Programs. Both sides agreed to a ceasefire Aug. 26.
Also Ahern said the U.S. Department of State has modified its stance. The department in the summer advised the deferral of any non-essential travel.
That advisory has been lifted but still warns of risks traveling to the region.
The university meanwhile has no programs in theWest African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where thousands have been infected with the Ebola virus. UMass has programs in Tanzania and South Africa, Ahern said.
He said if there were programs in the effected countries, they would advise against travel there. . . . .
Responses to the question of whether the Study Abroad programs should continue have been diverse . . . Further Resources/Articles on the subject can be found at the following links:
Out of sheer curiosity, what is your opinion? Should the schools cancel these programs that students have paid for and planned for, and if so, how should the students be reimbursed for the lost time and experience? Conversely, should the schools be able to assume that students have done their research on the situation and are still interested enough in the program for it to continue? How do you think the schools should rule in this debate?
For Rawan Muhanna, the past few weeks were some of the most terrifying times of her life.
A senior studying chemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas, Muhanna just returned last week from a trip to the Gaza Strip. She says she and her family visit Gaza often to spend time with relatives. This time, her family journeyed to the area for her sister’s wedding. Soon after the joyous celebrations, however, Muhanna says she began hearing F-16 missiles being dropped on surrounding homes.
“‘Unsafe’ doesn’t quite capture how we felt,” she says. “The fear brought me to tears, which I’ve never experienced before.”
Although the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas of the world, Muhanna says the streets were empty when the violence began to escalate. She recalls an incident in which her family had to leave their family’s apartment building to buy groceries.
“We’re literally just praying and speeding through empty streets just to get to the grocery store to buy food,” Muhanna says. “That was one time that I genuinely felt like I might not get home.”
Violence between Israel and Gaza-based militant groups, most notably Hamas, escalated this month after three young Israeli students were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank on June 10. On July 2, a Palestinian man was killed in retaliation near Jerusalem.
“A delegation of 13 representatives from leading universities and study abroad programs in the United States arrived in Israel for a weeklong visit, geared toward developing new study abroad collaborations with Israeli institutions.
Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the government, organized the visit along with the Foreign Ministry.
While in Israel, the delegation, comprised of. . . .”