Taking safety precautions for Michiganders studying abroad


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan State University has one of the largest study abroad programs in the country, and recent events have had many on heightened alert.

“While there are risks to traveling abroad, there are risks to traveling abroad in basically any circumstance, but that there are things that they can take to mitigate that risk,” Maureen Handrahan, MSU Coordinator of International Health and Safety said.

Maureen Handrahan is the coordinator of international health and safety for MSU.

“All of our program leaders have mandatory emergency preparedness and response training and critical incident management training that we do with them,” Handrahan said.

Matt Zierler is leading one of those study abroad program in Brussels. He’s also an expert in U.S. foreign policy and international security.

“In all my times coming here to western Europe I have never seen more security, physical security presence than I do now,” Zierler said.

Federica Risi had no idea what was about to happen yesterday. She just graduated this May from MSU and is vacationing with her friend in Europe. They stopped at a concert yesterday on the streets of Nice.

“All of the sudden all we saw a group of people. The crowd just started running the opposite direction from where we were walking to,” Risi said.

She hid in a hotel with others who ran away from the chaos, not knowing what was happening until police said they could leave the hotel.

“We’re definitely shaken up and even now when we hear a siren, it’s very upsetting,” Risi said.

Risi says she and her friend are just trying to move on and make the best of the last few days of their trip.

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