Following in the footsteps of GW, it appears as if Georgetown is also taking some safety precautions in Egypt, wary of the well-being of their students studying abroad in the country. According to The Hoya, The Office of International Programs at Georgetown cancelled its fall study abroad program at the American University in Cairo, an action taken directly after the STate Department issued a warning to all Americans on Wednesday.
"The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Egypt and U.S. citizens living in Egypt to depart at this time because of the continuing political and social unrest," the travel warning reads.
While Director of Overseas Studies Craig Rinker did not anticipate having to call off the fall Cairo program, he stands behind his belief that this is the right move for Georgetown to protect their students.
"We didn't anticipate it," he said. "That's was one of the things we were aware of — the ongoing situation in Egypt — but it was extremely fluid, and as the situation changed, we responded accordingly."
Seven Georgetown students intended on traveling to Egypt in the coming months and were told of the necessary cancellation on Wednesday afternoon. While they will no longer have the opportunity to live temporarily in Egypt, The Hoya reports that they will be able to study abroad in Amann, Jordan, or at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocca through the Council on International Educational Exchange program.
This isn't the first time Georgetown has had to cancel a study abroad program. In April, the Office of International Programs ended up cancelling its summer semester in Alexandria, Egypt. Georgetown has also been know to evacuate students during protests. In January of 2011 during the revolution that ended former PResident Hosni Mubarak's regime, Georgetown made the decision to evacuate 15 of its students.
But while this seems like a good move by Georgetown, some students aren't so happy to hear that their dreams of traveling to Egypt are no longer plausible.
"Basically everything was in place. My visa application is still in the mail, so it will be interesting to see how that turns out," Connor Smith (SFS '15) explained. "I had bought a plane ticket, so I'm hoping Lufthansa will allow me to switch flights. I don't know if the trip insurance covers political unrest. Everything really major had been done; we were just hoping to see the political situation remain stable, and it didn't."
Georgetown has yet to release a decision concerning whether study abroad options to Egypt this spring will be offered; however, they do remain hopeful.
"Our partners in Egypt I think are very eager to have Georgetown students coming back at some point in the future too," Rinker said. "So we are going to continue to evaluate the situation on the ground and determine when that time may be."