State Department issues Europe travel alert but is not asking colleges to call off study abroad programs

In response to the State Department’s Europe Travel Alert issued on Sunday, which urges American travelers to take precautions and warns them of potential attacks in Europe (though it does not advise against travel to Europe in general), Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy remarked that the U.S. government does not want study abroad programs to be put to a halt, Inside Higher Ed reports:

“We are not asking Americans or even […] we’re not recommending, that American citizens of any kind – business, tourism, study abroad – […] should defer travel to Europe at this time, absolutely not,” Kennedy emphasized.

As Inside Higher Ed notes, many U.S. colleges have policies to cancel study abroad programs in countries for which the U.S. State Department issues a specific travel warning. Although the Europe Travel Alert entails a lower level of caution, it is somewhat unusual for the study abroad community because it involves Europe, the continent with the most popular study abroad destinations for U.S. students and one that is usually not subject to such travel warnings, Inside Higher Ed further explains. According to Inside Higher Ed, U.S. colleges so far seem to be following Kennedy’s advice by only alerting students and program directors but not bringing anyone back to the U.S.