Studying in Paris after terrorist attacks

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Studying in Paris after terrorist attacks

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

by Adriana Millar, Senior Staff Writer

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Although France remains in a state of emergency following a series of major terrorist attacks in the past year, 27 San Diego State students are currently studying abroad in programs across the country.

International economics senior Jed Arco is currently studying at the Paris campus of the Institute of Political Studies, or Sciences Po. Initially, the threat of attacks in France did scare him.

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t want to let fear stop me from pursuing my goals and ambitions,” Arco said. “I personally believe that in order to grow and flourish as an individual, you have to do something new, no matter how scary it may be.”

Arco said he chose Paris because of Science Po’s notable political and international studies programs, and because the city is famous for three of his favorite things: fashion, food and history.

“I would have had deep regrets if I passed up an opportunity to study and live here,” he said.

The past attacks did not impact business administration graduate student Adam Marsden’s decision to study at Audencia Business School in Nantes.

“The type of attacks that occurred in Paris and Nice could have just as easily happened in Los Angeles, San Diego or anywhere else in the United States or western world,” he said. “I’m at the point in my life that I can’t be afraid to venture out into the world to experience new things.”

The state of emergency status provides a wider array of power to France’s security forces to address potential concerns and also provides France with the opportunity to review and address their current security measures to make improvements where needed, SDSU Study Abroad Office Assistant Director Inemesit Williams said in an email on Oct. 7. Williams also said  this  is not meant to stop visitors from traveling, studying or experiencing France.

Williams said the office still has regular interest in France and past incidents have not impacted interest or submission of applications at all.

“Aside from students asking more questions in preparation and our office taking steps to continue to monitor worldwide travel notices and address potential concerns, I think most students and family members understand that the one incident in France does not ultimately make France a destination less safe than say, the United States, for example,” Williams said.

Williams said that the most common concerns are usually related to finances and academics.

“We ask students to consider their academic goals, including major or minor,” she said.

Williams said she encourages students to think beyond just an experience in Paris, since there are several more affordable and wonderful universities and cities to experience if they just take the time to research and explore.

Both Arco and Marsden recommend France as a great place to study abroad and experience a new culture.

Marden said what makes studying abroad the chance of a lifetime is meeting people from all over the world and learning who they are and where they come from.

“Just in one month of studies and travel, I have meet people from at least 20 countries and learned a lifetime of knowledge that will change the way I live my life in the future,” he said. 

Arco said studying abroad overseas has been one of the scariest but best things he has ever done in his life.

“It has forced me to be more independent and tolerant of change,” he said. “Overall it’s such a positive life changing journey and I think all students should experience it.”

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