A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 4

st-basils-aegis-academyNearly a quarter million American students embark upon study abroad programs each year, and while most programs result in positive experiences and an expanded understanding of our world there are many study abroad programs that have a much grimmer and more costly ending. A 2010 article titled 7 Student Travel Nightmares paints a gruesome and vivid picture of how study abroad programs can go terribly wrong. From kidnappings to abandonment to murder cases, students have experienced an array of security disasters that have left families broken, higher education institutions writing big checks, and diplomatic agencies in a scramble. No country is without its share of security threats, no city is 100% safe, and no student is immune to becoming the victim of a life-threatening situation.
In the last three articles of this series, “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know“, I have candidly … Read more »

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A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 3

The arrogance that accompanied my 21st year of life led me to ignore most safety considerations for the entire six months of my study abroad program in Moscow, Russia. In fact, despite enduring and surviving a rather scary piano-bar attack, towards the end of my stay in Moscow I was more confident than ever in my “guaranteed” security; and more prone to apathetically going about my final days in the city I had grown so fond of.

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In my previous article of the series, “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know“, I told  the detailed story of the attack I encountered at a piano-bar on one of my first nights out on the town in Moscow. After having time to process the occurrence, and truly evaluate the role I played in increasing the potential for security threats to become a reality, I determined … Read more »

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A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 2

Traveling abroad is an opportunity for endless enrichment experiences. Traveling to unfamiliar territory also inevitably invites the opportunity for security threats. In the last article of this series, “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know“, I provided an introduction to my own travel experiences in Moscow, Russia as a student in a direct exchange program. I briefly shared about how my arrogant attitude towards my own status as an American citizen not only revealed my naivety about foreign cultures, but may have also resulted in the piano bar attack I described.

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In “A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 2” I would like to elaborate on the piano bar attack using a lens more analytical than theoretical. In doing so I will outline some of the mistakes that I made — be they false assumptions, improper preparation, or just plain old stupidity … Read more »

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A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 1

“Assumptions are dangerous things.”– Agatha Christie

st-basils-aegis-academyUniversity-aged students are more and more choosing to travel to foreign countries to participate in study abroad, direct exchange, and semester abroad programs. While these education and travel opportunities provide invaluable experience to young adults, they also come with hefty price tags and unique security concerns. If you are a student, or a parent of a student, who may be traveling abroad to study in the near future then this article series is for you. Your student’s life is far more valuable than any Ivy-League education — learn how to prepare for a semester abroad by reading through my own mistakes while traveling abroad in Russia, in this article series  “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know.”

In the first article of the series covering ‘arrogance’, I will explore how an arrogant perspective can lead to false … Read more »

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