November 1, 2001

Cornellians Abroad React To U.S. Strike

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The international spotlight that has been focused on the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks has affected Cornellians both on and off campus. The Cornell Abroad programs prompted dialogue among Cornell students abroad. Students are posting their concerns and sharing their experiences on the Cornell’s Einaudi Center for International Studies website (

“Students abroad have been very concerned and worried about what’s going on in the United States. They are also keenly aware of their positions as americans in a host country,” said Dr. Beatrice Szekely, associate director of Cornell Abroad.

Hussein Hirji ’03 who is studying in Beirut, Lebanon posted, “Years of seeing what many describe as one-sided foreign policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict has imbedded a deep resentment for all U.S. foreign policy, it seems.”

He added, “everyone here has his or her own theories about what ‘really’ happened and who was behind it all … these are educated people, and what seems implausible to me makes perfect sense to them.”

Meanwhile, some students abroad have observed an increase in security concerns.

Lauren Donovan ’03, who is studying in Rome said, “Our field trips were canceled, the sign identifying that English-speaking students live here was torn down, and we felt very high profile in the streets.”

Despite some international reaction and increased safety precautions that have been necessary, that no Cornell student abroad has returned to America as a result of the attacks, Szekely reported.

A recent letter from the Cornell Abroad program addressed to Spring 2002 applicants stressed safety, and recommended a three part contingency plan for applicants in light of the ongoing war: go as planned, go to a second-choice destination, or option three, postpone until a later date.

This semester, 200 Cornell students are studying abroad, and a a record 385 students have applied to study abroad in Spring 2002.

Archived article by Peter Norlander