The danger in studying abroad

Although studying abroad is a great opportunity for students to receive another view of life, it still poses some threat.

According to the Associated Press, a University of Florida student studying in southern Africa has been found dead after getting caught in a river’s strong current.

Thad Owens, 27, was a part of a three month wildlife ecology program in Nambia sponsored by UF.

African officials, the U.S. Embassy, local villagers and private search-and-rescue teams searched for Owens since Thursday when he tried to swim across the Kunene River and was swept away, according to Tampa Bay online. Officials feared for the student because the river is full of crocodiles.

This is an extremely unfortunate event.  Students seek studying abroad opportunities to become more marketable in the workforce.  But no one ever stops to think about the dangers associated with traveling to another country. 

This reminds me of the movie “Taken,” which depicts a young girl who traveled to Paris and was kidnapped for trafficking by foreign men.  Some people view other countries as exotic and care-free but fail to recognize or examine possible threats.

Surely, visiting other countries doesn’t have to be hazardous. It often depends on how people protect themselves.  Being surrounded by trustworthy people and having valuable resources is the key to safety.

Sadly, Owens didn’t know that one trip to Africa would be his last. His family issued a statement saying his body was found on the river late Saturday.

Hopefully, this ill-fated event will shield light on the dangers of traveling overseas.

Kwamae Simpkins for the Editorial Board.