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Study abroad program stalled

Students hoping to travel to Mexico through USF’s Study Abroad Programs and Exchanges, trips that have historically embarked late in June or early in July, may have to find a new location to explore this summer.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s official website, a travel advisory issued in May warns against students traveling in the area and urges for the evacuation of the families of U.S. consulate personnel from border cities like Tijuana, Nogales, Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo.

Although no trips to Mexico were scheduled when the advisory was released, news coordinator for University Communications and Marketing Barbara Melendez said USF plans to comply with the warning.

In previous summers, USF students have been able to travel to the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico to study Spanish language, the culture of Mexico and many archeological sites.

However, until the advisory is lifted, no students will partake in the trip.

“We had no faculty-led programs scheduled in Mexico,” Melendez said. “No study-abroad programming will be planned in Mexico while the State Department warning is active.”

According to the advisory, the Mexican government began dispersing troops along active drug routes in 2006 to combat illegal drug trafficking organizations.

“Crime and violence are serious problems,” the advisory said. “While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.”

In May, the drug violence had taken the lives of 50 Americans, according to the website, prompting the government to include student study abroad programs in the warning.

According to the New York Times, no U.S. students studying in the area have been killed or hurt in the violence that is prevalent throughout the country.