With ISIS’ recent attacks on some of Europe’s most famous cities, one might think that it would inflict a little fear in the study abroad students from America.
While some have chosen to cancel their flights and stay home, others are not keeping a little danger from ruining their time abroad.
“We can’t let Isis control our lives. We would be just giving them what they want,” said Allie Robinson from Pennsylvania, who just last weekend flew directly to Paris. “I studied abroad so I could travel and I’m not going to let this stop me.”
Signs of warning have been all over the Internet directed at American students studying or traveling abroad.
According to Heidi Doerr, the ISA study abroad group director in Malaga, Spain, students have been advised to not travel to places including northern Spain, Belgium or France.
They have also been advised not to attend big events like concerts or sports games.
“I went to a Madonna concert in Barcelona last week, and although the security was tight, and there was an element of fear, I had already bought the tickets,” said Eavan Lynch, a college student from Nebraska studying in Spain.
Madonna herself interrupted her concert in Stockholm to comment, “They want to silence us. They want to shut us up. And we won’t let them. We will never let them,” according to a Rolling Stone article.
Beyond the attacks in France, there was another, more recent terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium. But it didn’t stop an American student from booking a mini vacation.
“I just booked my tickets to Brussels and they are non-refundable,” said Morgan Schroeder, a student from Nebraska, “Even if they were, I would still go.”
Advising students not to travel isn’t the only precaution the world is taking to protect us from ISIS. Airport security has been ramped up as well. Airport security and security officials at large events are checking and double-checking bags upon departure and arrival.
“Flying into Barcelona, I got searched twice and I didn’t even set off the security alarm,” Lynch said. “The same thing happened on the way back.”
It’s not just these few students who are risking it all to see the sights; there are more than 15 students in the Malaga, Spain study abroad group who are choosing to travel this weekend, according to Doerr.
Eight of them are going to Brussels.
“It’s kind of like the American way, isn’t it? We are standing up for what we believe in and we aren’t letting anyone keep us down,” said Andrew Bartells, a student from Pittsburg.
“I worry about these students every day. They are my responsibility while they are studying abroad,” said Doerr, “but I can’t keep them from traveling and if I were them, I would be taking full advantage of my time here.”
The advice from the directors and the moment of silence at the University of Malaga acknowledging those killed in Paris wasn’t enough to scare these college students out of living their dreams of seeing the world.
“I mean, what would you do? You might only get this one chance in Europe in your whole life,” Lynch said, “I want to see as much as I can with the time that I have.”