Studying abroad can bring great rewards, but being a visitor in a foreign land also comes with significant risks.
“It is important to understand how the risks may be different from home, and to be prepared,” says Shaun Jamieson, an International Risk Analyst at Iowa State University, where I teach Spanish and run the university’s largest study abroad program.
Few cases underscore this point more than the tragic case of Otto Warmbier, an American college student arrested and imprisoned in North Korea in 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from a North Korean hotel. After being imprisoned, Warmbier was brought back to the United States in 2017 brain-damaged and in vegetative state. He died a short while later and is widely seen as the victim of a brutal regime.
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