I just finished my second info call with special guest, Sienna Miller, who is a Rutgers University senior who spent a semester studying in South Africa. One of the things Sienna mentioned was the warning her group received during their orientation with regards to personal safety.
One of the main worries of any parent when sending their child off to study in a foreign country is the specter of violence and crime. For black parents add the additional fear of racism/racially motivated violence.
Within the last few weeks two European situations have hit the headlines all over the world that must there send chills down the spine of any parent whose child is now abroad:
Both of these situations have decidedly racial overtones, though each in a different way.
Although we can never be 100% safe, Sienna brought up some interesting points when she talked about her own safety measures while living in South Africa. In a nutshell:
- She admitted that the level of violence on her campus wasn’t any higher than she experienced at home, but realized being American (and therefore theoretically more affluent) made her a likely target of certain types of crimes
- The most unsettling factor was knowing you would be far from home and the support of loved ones if something happened
- Reasonable due diligence and a strong dose of common sense are often enough to keep you out of harm’s way
As my guest on the first info call, Tecla Robinson, spent her time abroad in London, she will be weighing in with her take on the violence that erupted there in the coming week.