The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Study abroad program prepares for trips amid Ukrainian crisis

SRA International

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24. UNK faculty and students are questioning if study abroad programs will continue overseas.

Heidi Knake, a study abroad advisor at UNK, shared how the university evaluates tensions happening internationally.

“In our programs, we have people that are constantly keeping us in the loop of what their country looks like due to COVID and the problem going on between Ukraine and Russia,” Knake said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have always been high, with conflict starting in Feb. 2014. This year’s invasion began when President Putin declared Russia could not feel “safe, develop and exist” with Ukraine as a constant threat, according to Paul Kirby in his article “Why is Russia Invading Ukraine and what does Putin want?”

Another motive for the attack includes capturing Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital; this would threaten Ukraine’s democratic government.

Students share how other countries may not be affected by the conflict.

“France would be a decent way away,” said UNK student Ivan Lopez. “Spain would be a decent way away. I’m not sure if other countries are getting involved in what’s going on right now… if that will change anything.”

UNK has upgraded regulations for students traveling abroad due to COVID-19 and the Ukrainian crisis.

“We have safety measures put in place,” Knake said. “We’re working right now to get an app that you can download on your phone.”

The app is meant to send notifications if there are security concerns.

Knake shared what safety measures are in place for UNK students traveling abroad:

Requirement for students to purchase mandatory health insurance

Policy requiring all students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Two faculty members accompany students on short-term programs.

Students are hopeful for their studying abroad opportunities.

“I want the immersion to improve my French and learn about French culture,” Lopez said. “Language is a huge part of culture that is always changing.”

The experience of studying abroad also appeals to potential employers.

“Being able to jump into a culture that’s totally different and survive is going to show that you can do that in your future workplace.” Knake said.

Knake also said that travel abroad allows students to meet other students. Many programs include traveling with a student group from UNK but exchange programs help students meet people from around the world.

UNK’s study abroad program has not cut or canceled any trips as of now. Partial refunds would be provided to students if they traveled abroad and had to return early.

There are group/faculty-led trips that are still in action. These include Ireland and the Czech Republic in Spring and Italy in the summer. The modern languages department is still planning the faculty led trip to Spain this summer.

For more information, contact Tim Burkink, assistant vice chancellor for international affairs at and 308-865-8246.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *