The Study Abroad Office announced in an e-mail today that applications for fall programs in Egypt will not be approved. The decision, which will affect the fall 2011 study abroad plans of eight students, including this reporter, came in response to a travel warning posted by the U.S. Department of State in light of the political unrest in Egypt. University policy prohibits processing applications for study in countries with travel warnings.
Applicants to The American University in Cairo or the Middlebury Program in Alexandria are advised to contact study abroad adviser Michelle Gere by Monday, Feb. 14. They may pursue the option of applying to programs in other countries such as Jordan, Oman, Turkey and Morocco. Students may also choose to defer their study abroad to winter/spring 2012, in the hopes that the travel warning will no longer be in effect.
Students may still apply to the program of their choice, but must sign a travel form through the Office of Risk Management, declaring that they understand the risks and release Northwestern from liability, according to the study abroad website. They will not be enrolled at Northwestern while they are abroad.
Bill Anthony, director of the Study Abroad Office, said that traveling to Egypt anyway would be against the university’s better judgment. The office is “happy and eager to work with students on alternate options.”
“These policies aren’t crafted whimsically,” he said. “They’re taken very, very seriously and discussed often.”