Why Texas Tech Is Suspending Its Study Abroad Programs in Belgium

The recent terror attacks in Belgium became the tipping point for one Texas university, which has temporarily suspended its programs in Belgium.
 

By Rhonda Fanning & Alain StephensMarch 25, 2016 11:51 am| ,

Safety of course is always of utmost importance at universities across the state. Consider this: bans on travel typically are associated with areas of the world fraught by war, political upheaval or outbreaks of disease. Nations like Syria or Sudan may come to mind.

But one Texas college is banning study abroad programs to Belgium. The decision comes in the wake of the most recent terror attacks. Ambassador Tibor Nagy, Texas Tech’s vice provost for international affairs, says they’re suspending their programs for the time being.

“Brussels has been problematic for a while but now all of Belgium is problematic,” he says. “With the world today, there are so many trouble spots.”

As of this week, the University of Texas and Texas A&M haven’t announced any changes to their study abroad programs. Nagy says the suspension came in part because some of their programs are in places that previously had been attractive to tourists, like Turkey or Belgium in Europe, rather than places with known dangers like North Korea or Afghanistan.

“There are systematic issues (in Belgium),” he says. “Terrorism can strike anywhere …but Belgium has problems on the security side.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What dates the suspension will be in place and why the Belgian approach to national security poses issues

– Where else Texas Tech is suspending their study abroad destinations

– How Nagy’s experience as an ambassador affects his views on study abroad programs for Texas Tech students