Christian University Cancels Plans to Send Students to Egypt for Study Abroad Trip this May

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Political unrest in country prompts George Fox University trip organizers to change plans, giving students opportunity to study in other countries.

Recent political unrest in Egypt has prompted George Fox University to cancel a planned trip to the country as part of the university’s annual Juniors Abroad study program this spring.

Rioting against Egypt’s now-deposed president, Hosni Mubarak, began in late January, and in early February the U.S. Department of State put out a travel alert – and later a travel warning – to anyone planning to visit the country. The developments convinced Paul Chamberlain, director of the Juniors Abroad program, and Provost Patrick Allen to jointly cancel the trip.

“We cancelled for student safety reasons,” Chamberlain said. “There was just too much uncertainty about conditions in the country to chance a trip this year. We are optimistic for a good outcome and are tentatively planning a trip to Egypt for 2012.”

The 20 students bumped from the trip will instead travel to China and Tibet (12), Italy (five), New Zealand (two) and Greece (one). “The students took the news with disappointment and understanding. They handled the news with amazing maturity.”

Despite the change in plans, George Fox remains a national leader in study abroad participation. Last year, nearly two-thirds of the university’s traditional undergraduates reported studying abroad before graduation. According to data compiled by U.S. News & World Report magazine for its 2010-11 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, George Fox ranks No. 49 out of approximately 1,400 accredited institutions in the nation in percentage of students studying outside the country. George Fox also was among the top five Christian colleges in study abroad participation.

Other trips planned this year will take students to Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Ecuador, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Honduras and Costa Rica. About 200 students will participate on the trips this May.

Since 1987, the program has sent third- and fourth-year students on three-week overseas study trips led by professors. Excursions have reached every continent except Antarctica. George Fox pays transportation and program costs; students pay room and board. Each trip holds preparation classes during the spring semester.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes as the top Christian college in the Pacific Northwest and among the top three Christian colleges in the country. George Fox is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first tier national university. More than 3,400 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Paul Chamberlain
Director, Juniors Abroad program

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