Syracuse University decided to suspend its study abroad programs in Tunisia, Lebanon and Egypt in response to State Department travel warnings and the increasingly volatile situation in the Middle East.
Currently, there are no students studying in any of these locations, said SU Abroad Director Sue Shane.
The programs are suspended following travel warnings for Tunisia and Lebanon issued by the U.S. Department of State. Although a travel warning has not yet been issued for Egypt, SU Abroad decided to suspend the program until the violence calms down, Shane said.
SU Abroad is still offering Jordan as an alternate location for students who wished to study in these countries, Shane said.
"There's no answers to what will happen next," she said. "It's a volatile region and right now Jordan is a quieter, less volatile location."
For students who have put in their applications to study abroad in Tunisia, Lebanon or Egypt during the spring semester, their future there "doesn't look good," Shane said.
"It's a day-by-day thing. We're doing what we can for students who want to travel to these places in the spring," she said. "The students who apply now understand that they need to be versatile and flexible, and open to going somewhere else if necessary."
In the spring, SU Abroad will reevaluate whether to send students to these countries for the fall 2013 semester, said Kristine Clay, coordinator of World Partner and short-term programs for SU Abroad, in an email.
These countries do not have SU-operated study abroad centers, Clay said. Instead, SU Abroad works with World Partner organizations to arrange study abroad opportunities for students. Given that SU has no staff or administrators on the ground in these countries, the university relies on its partner organizations to stay updated on the situations in these countries, she said.
Similar to the Tunisia program, the Jordan program will be an intensive Arabic language study program in which students are required to speak Arabic at all times and use English as little as possible, Clay said.
"We are excited to have this alternative location for students that may have become interested in Tunisia," Clay said. "I expect to see a few intrepid students that will take up the invitation to study in Jordan this next spring 2013 semester."
– Asst. copy editor Meredith Newman contributed reporting to this article.