Editorial : SU Abroad rightly allowed students in Cairo to move to other Middle Eastern universities
The Syracuse University Abroad office did the right thing by providing the four students studying in Cairo, Egypt, opportunities to study at other universities in the Middle East after evacuating them in response to Egyptian protests.
SU Abroad originally offered the students in Cairo places at the London center, but wanting a more unique experience, three opted to study at SU’s newest center in Istanbul and one decided to attend a college in Beirut, Lebanon.
The four students in Cairo could have watched history unfold in Egypt. Every major American news agency has its eye to the east, and these students could have seen something they will never see firsthand in the United States. Though all four students agreed to the evacuation, had one of them wanted to stay behind, Cairo would have undoubtedly offered an unmatched educational experience.
With classes temporarily suspended at the American University of Cairo and with the country’s stability in limbo, SU Abroad was justified in pulling scholarships or support for any who wished to stay in Egypt, as they likely would not have completed a traditional course of study. But SU should have made a greater effort to allow the single student who originally expressed an interest in staying with a means to stay. The experience could have changed that student’s life.
For the students who wished to leave, the SU staff was astonishingly fast in flying them to safety and quickly integrating them into new programs. The final educational obligation SU has will be to provide those students expecting to immerse themselves in Arabic with classes or other means to learn the language.
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