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UC Students, Faculty Heading Overseas

Date: Aug. 26, 2002
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photo By: Dottie Stover
Archive: Campus News

UC students, faculty in Paris

Dozens of UC students and faculty will be getting an international perspective on the Sept. 11 anniversary as they participate in education programs that coincide with that historic date.

Memories of last year's Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and resulting airport shutdown have not been a deterrent to study abroad programs this fall or in the year since the Sept. 11 attacks, according to Riall Nolan, director of the UC Institute for Global Studies and Affairs (IGSA). For the upcoming year, it appears interest in study abroad will remain high as well, he said. For evidence, he points to increased attendance at the summer 2002 student and parent orientation sessions on study abroad. Nolan also says that IGSA awarded 40 grants for the summer of 2002 compared to 21 in summer 2001. For the upcoming 2002-2003 academic year, preliminary figures indicate that an estimated 405 students will be receiving funding from UC to study abroad, compared to 289 in 2001-2002.

"I have no qualms about safety," says Daniel Durbin, professor of construction science at the College of Applied Science. He, along with faculty member J.D. Coleman, will be leading a dozen construction management and architectural engineering technology seniors on a trip to Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns in Australia, Aug. 29-Sept. 20.

"I fully expect people will be talking about 9-11 and will be aware of what is going on in New York that day," says Durbin. "Australians are very good about keeping up with international news. We tend to be more isolated here.

During a visit to Australia last November, Durbin came close to tears when he saw a highway sign that Australians had displayed to memorialize the events of Sept. 11. It carried the times and date of the attacks and read, in sequence, "We mourn" and "We pray." "Almost everyone I met recognized me as an American by my accent and all offered their sympathy," he recalls.

Like Durbin, Sally Reusch, a 39-year-old German language student who will be traveling on UC's "New Berlin" program to Germany Sept. 2-12, has no fears about traveling abroad during the anniversary period. "I have thought about it. But I don't feel like it will be a repeated incident. I have faith in the airlines and security system," says the Cincinnati Recreation Commission employee and Eastgate resident.

The trip's flight to come home was originally scheduled for Sept. 11, says trip leader Richard Schade, professor of Germanic languages and literatures. He changed the plans to Sept. 12 to avoid flying on that date, just to be on the safe side.

Margaret Voelker-Ferrier, UC associate professor of fashion design in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, will co-lead a Sept. 4-20 trip to several fashion houses in England and France. She believes she and her fellow travelers may be able to take "comfort being out of the eye of the storm." Twenty-one undergraduates will take part in the field study.

"Last year, we were in Italy on Sept. 11th," says Voelker-Ferrier. "There was so much sympathy and empathy for us everywhere we went. It was a moment when the world banded together, united by those television scenes of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center Towers. Every channel in Europe all night carried them. Since then, I have been to New York three times, and Europe twice. Security is stiffer and the lines in airports are longer, and I hope it is enough."

Before departing early for the New Berlin trip on Aug. 20, Josh Arnold, 21-year-old political science and German major, admitted he had thought plenty about the safety issue. But in the end, he didn't see it as a "real issue."

Anne Glenn, a communication major who will take part in a "Rembrandt and Roses" tour of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, also found that her international curiosity won out over any concerns she might have about security. "I'm interested in seeing how Amsterdam deals with the anniversary."

The faculty member who is leading her tour, Michael Porte, says that each member of the tour has been made aware of the State Department's general travel advisory. Yet each signed up despite it. The trip was already being planned before Sept. 11, 2001. Sums up the professor of communication: "I feel if we let the terrorists and the fear of terrorism govern our lives, then that is a victory for them."

A glimpse at Fall 2002 study abroad programs

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