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A joint Study Abroad program of the Department of Geography, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and of the Department of International Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs, The University of Georgia.

A statement about studying in Paris in light of recent events:

Despite the recent horrific events in Paris last week, we have every intention of running our program this summer. Whilst we appreciate that some students and parents may have concerns, we believe that there is no more concern about visiting Paris than there would be about visiting any large US city, for several reasons:

1) Paris is a very safe city. The events of the past few days are both exceptionally rare and also were the result of a highly targeted attack on a newspaper and the aftermath thereof. Three of the four shooters involved have been killed by French police and the 4th participant has apparently left the country (the latest news indicates that she is probably in Syria).

2) although the State Dept. had issued a worldwide travel alert it has not issued one for France specifically, nor for Europe specifically. Those remain the same as they were before the attacks. If the State Dept. were concerned about further attacks in France specifically, then they would issue a country-specific alert.

3) as sad as it is to say, I am sure that there were probably more than 12 people killed in the US by gunfire on the same day that the attack took place in Paris. It is also important to remember that similar events of terrorism have occurred in this country, most recently in Boston. Unfortunately, this is the world in which we now live. Such events are not confined to Europe. None of us would hesitate to venture to New York or Boston, even though terrorist attacks have also occurred in those cities. In fact, it is much more dangerous to travel in those cities than in European ones-which have only a fraction of the violent crime that is typical of urban areas of the US. In 2010 gun deaths in France numbered 1,736. In the US for that year there were 31,672.

4) we are still several months from actually arriving in Paris and the State Dept. usually lifts its general travel warnings after some time has passed.

5) the location of the attack on the newspaper is not near where our students stay in Paris.

6) the residence that we use in Paris (which is owned by a US university) has excellent security. You cannot get into the buildings from the street without passing the security desk (which is staffed 24 hrs a day) and showing an ID. I have been in communication with them and they actually have a party of their own students leaving for Paris this week.

7) Paris is the world's most-visited tourist location and French security forces have been increased to limit the likelihood of a similar event taking place in the future. For them the safety of tourists is very important.

I really do think that it's important to put recent events into perspective and to not overreact. If students or parents want to call me to speak with me about safety concerns, then I am very happy to chat with them (706 542 2856). I should add that I personally have no trepidation about going to Paris this summer nor of having members of my family there.

Dr. Andrew Herod