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A group of students and staff from St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester Program in 2013. Photo courtesy St. Lawrence University
A group of students and staff from St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester Program in 2013. Photo courtesy St. Lawrence University

St. Lawrence University suspends its 40-year-old Kenya program

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Earlier this month, we reported on one of the longest running study abroad programs to Africa, based right here in the North Country: St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester program, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. Over 2000 students have travelled to Kenya with the program.

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Reported by

Natasha Haverty
Reporter and Producer

But yesterday afternoon, the college announced its decision to suspend the program for the coming fall semester, citing recent travel warnings from the U.S. state department. Just in the past few months, the department reports an increase in the numbers of bombings, shootings, and grenade attacks in public places by terrorist groups.

Drew Pynchon is Assistant Director of Off Campus Programs. He’s also an alum of the Kenya semester.

“You know, there’s a point that we reach where we need to look at other options, and we use a lot of resources to monitor that, through connection to that state department, our connection to the U.S. Embassy, St. Lawrence alums who are members of Parliament, and we draw on all of those when making this decision.”

Pynchon says he’ll be working with students to find other possibilities for study abroad next fall, if they choose not to return to campus for the semester. And the team of St. Lawrence employees based year-round in Nairobi will still be working, though some may choose to be relocated for the time being.

This isn’t the first time the university’s made this call: St. Lawrence also suspended its study abroad program to Kenya in response to post-election violence six years ago. But the university says for now, the suspension is only for the fall.

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