PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some students and parents were concerned Wednesday night, with a global travel warning in place after recent terror attacks in France.
As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported, many have had questions about safety in particular during study abroad programs.
Some students from Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, Long Island plan to go to Italy in April.
“We’ll arrive in Milan, and from there, we’re going to do a little, like, tour of northern Italy – stop over in some towns — and Venice, definitely, which I’m really excited for,” said high school senior Mike Dipreta.
They said they will go ahead with their plans despite a worldwide travel alert issued by the U.S. Department of State, following the shootings last week in Paris.
Al Qaeda has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery store.
The State Department issued a global travel warning after the attacks in Paris, as well as the incidents in Sydney and Ottawa. The State Department warning said attacks against Americans are becoming increasingly prevalent, and also cites an increased risk of reprisals against U.S. and Western targets for the U.S.-led intervention against ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.
But the Port Washington students were not worried.
“We have our own tour bus, tour guide – local guide — so I think we will be fine,” said high school senior Emma Cisneros.
“I have faith in the Italian government, and the international community — that security will be increased,” said high school senior Michael Falzone.
Chaperone and teacher Debbie Korba-Rapp said she has been going abroad for three years with students. She said she feels confident that the trip will happen without any safety issues
“We want our students to be global citizens, and the only way to do that is to travel,” she said.
CBS2 also checked with area colleges to see if students still plan to go.
A Columbia University representative told CBS2’s Smith that the university does not have any plans to cancel the semester overseas. An NYU representative said there is no reason at this point to implement a study abroad ban, although authorities did cancel the fall semester for NYU students in Tel Aviv due to the Gaza War.
But the Port Washington high school students say they’re going no matter what – as long as they are allowed.
“It’s going to be very interesting, and I feel like, life-changing,” said high school junior Dimitra Vlahos.
The 30 high school students going to Italy will be with five chaperones. The trip can be cancelled as late as the day of planned departure, but all students are insured so they would be fully refunded.
The principal at the school said so far, no one has asked to cancel.
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