The rioting that started in London a few days ago has made a serious impact on the way the city is perceived abroad. Those living outside of the United Kingdom have had mixed responses to the unrest, but any parent of students studying in London or the other cites affected by the violence are bound to feel concerned for the safety of their children.
Thus far, it appears that the day-to-day lives of students studying abroad in the UK have not been much affected. In Oxford, just north of London, students from American universities were asked to stay inside housing at Trinity College, according to Red and Black, a student newspaper from the University of Georgia. The students were participants in study abroad programs run by the University of Georgia, Georgetown, University of Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure University.
Many summer programs are currently ending, and US students will be returning as scheduled. Syracuse University has 31 students participating in a short-term program who were scheduled to return on August 11th. “The areas currently affected are ones where students are unlikely to go, and bystanders do not at present seem to be at great risk,” states the University’s website. Similarly, 17 Indiana University students are scheduled to return to the states this week.
The US State Department has not issued any advisories against traveling to the UK, and it appears that fall sessions will not be affected. “We have students leaving for the University of Leicester at the very end of August,” Sue Lorenz, the director of study abroad at the University of Kansas told 6 News Lawrence. “I’ll continually monitor this situation along with other program coordinators in our office.”
Other program administrators predict that classes will not be interrupted for students in the UK, and as of today the riots seem to have petered out. “Hopefully, everything is going to calm down. We still have three weeks before departure,” Jay Wilkinson, who manages the study abroad program for Simpson College told KCCI. “I would be really surprised if the situation continued to spiral out of control.”
Image via CNN.