Archive for Friday, April 16, 2004

Attacks affect KU study abroad

Director: Programs in Spain adjusted after Madrid bombings

April 16, 2004

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Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco said her job as director of the study abroad program at Kansas University had been tough since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

It didn't get any easier with last month's terrorist bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people.

Since the March 11 train bombings, Gronbeck-Tedesco has been working to ensure the safety of students enrolled in the university's programs in Spain.

KU students studying in Spain who need to travel as part of the program no longer will ride on trains. Instead, they'll travel by bus. In addition, programs offered through KU's School of Architecture and Urban Design will stay away from usual stops in metropolitan areas and parts of southern Spain.

Gronbeck-Tedesco said it was a challenge to balance a good education abroad with student safety.

"We're trying to make it more safe. We're trying to be careful with the lives of students, of course," Gronbeck-Tedesco said.

Two KU students are studying this semester in Madrid; they were not injured in the bombings. Thirty-seven other KU students are studying elsewhere in Spain. KU has programs at several sites, including Granada, Valencia, Seville and Santiago de Compostela.

Regan Lehman, a KU senior from Lawrence, is enrolled in this summer's Spanish language and culture program in Barcelona. She said she was not worried about her safety while traveling abroad.

"It never discouraged me from wanting to go," Lehman said. "I never thought that I shouldn't go because there's been a terrorist attack in the nation I'm headed to."

Gronbeck-Tedesco said although students were aware of terrorism, they don't seem to let it get in their way of an education abroad.

"When the World Trade Center was bombed, we had 215 students out in the world, and one student came back out of 215," Gronbeck-Tedesco said.

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