Staying Safe Abroad - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Staying Safe Abroad

It's been three days since terror attacks in Paris killed more than 130 people and injured nearly 400 others. One American student was among those killed in the terror attacks in Paris.

Now it's sparking new concerns for students studying abroad. Midwestern State University is among a number of schools that participate in those programs.

 “Anytime there's a terroristic attack whether it’s the United States or abroad, obviously our concerns and our thoughts go out to our fellow global citizens,” said Director of International Education at MSU Dr. Michael Mills.

While Mills said no students were abroad during the attacks, they do have trips planned for this summer.

 “It just really hit close to home because I'm a French minor, and I will be going, well tentatively going to a study abroad program this summer,” said Faith Munoz, a student at MSU.

Munoz said the terror attacks may have put her chances of traveling this summer on hold.

“This morning my parents messaged me and said we've thought about it, we've considered it, and we're going to take the wait and see approach, and I think that’s a wise choice,” said Munoz.

That's why Mills said the school takes a number of steps to help keep students safe.

 “Anytime we send students abroad they are always with a faculty member at least,” said Mills.

They also require students to take an orientation that helps prepare them for crisis situations, and MSU encourages students to purchase local 30-day cell phones so they are in constant contact.

“Being someone who has been in Paris and someone whose had students travel through Paris obviously we're concerned and want to make sure it’s the right place for our students,” said Mills.

 Mills said MSU will wait until closer to the trips to make any final decisions on any changes.

 Meanwhile, students are putting together an event to help those victims of the deadly Paris attacks. Jessi Clayton is a well traveled student who said Paris was a place she felt most at home and accepted.

After hearing the news on Friday night she said she had to do something to help. She's putting together an event to send condolences and allow students and residents to express their feelings through an open-mic night at MSU.

“Obviously we can’t be so politically correct and help everyone in four hours but I think by doing something like this in Wichita it kind of opens up people’s eyes that there are things you can do besides spending your money or besides physically being there more than just changing your Facebook profile picture,” said Clayton.

 The event is called "Today We Are All Human.” It's at MSU Monday, November 23 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at night.

“Advanced French students will be translating information from the websites of French organizations participating in the Syrian refugee effort and the relief effort for victims of the terrorist attacks on Paris,” according to a press release from Clayton.

There will also be coffee provided by 8th Street Coffee House and internationally themed desserts for the cost of any donation, according to Clayton.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6

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