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Should I travel to Kenya/Tanzania or not for school? Is it too dangerous?

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posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:47 AM
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Hello friends of ATS!!

I recently was offered from DePaul University to do a short-term study abroad trip to Kenya and Tanzania. The majority of the trip would be paid for and I would have little out of pocket expenses to worry about. I've always wanted to go to Africa, but am also realistic to the fact that it's quite dangerous in numerous areas. Funny thing is that I'm from Chicago, which is also VERY dangerous, but my comfort level/familiarity is much greater here.

What worries me is the close proximity Kenya has to such radical African nations like Somalia.



I'm from USA, I'm white, and I'm 27 years old... So I feel that I hit ever checklist for those radical terrorists/pirates who live in that area. Part of me wants to just say forget it, and whatever happens, happens, but another part of me says, be realistic John, and understand that there are real dangers in that area and you should look elsewhere for study abroad if you can....

Here is the Travel Warning U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bureau of Consular Affairs


The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. U.S. citizens in Kenya, and those considering travel to Kenya, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas. The levels of risk vary throughout the country. The Embassy will continue to monitor the security situation and provide updates. This replaces the Travel Warning of July 3, 2012, to update information about the current security situation.



The U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Although the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities continues, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region. Travelers should consult the Worldwide Cautionfor further information and details.


Link

So am I making something out of nothing? Do you think I should take full advantage of this opportunity or should I wait for one in a less dangerous area?

I know we have MANY well-traveled ATS members and I would really appreciate any advice or thoughts you could pass my way

Thanks!




posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


Travel, you will regret it if you don't. So what if it is dangerous? if you don't go one day you will wake up and realise you've lived a long and unneventful life shut away in a box.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by CrimsonMoon
reply to post by jhn7537
 


Travel, you will regret it if you don't. So what if it is dangerous? if you don't go one day you will wake up and realise you've lived a long and unneventful life shut away in a box.


That's kinda how I feel... If I refuse to go places over "risk" then I'm essentially letting "them" win.... I always wanted to go to Egypt too to see the Pyramids and what not, but heard to stay away because I was a white american...... Giant Sigh.......



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:00 AM
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Let me help you out with this one.



That was in the safer part of Kenya.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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I've never traveled but you have been given a great opportunity. I would totally make use of that. Not many get selected from their schools to travel overseas or study abroad. Plus, anywhere you go these days, something is bound to happen. But, if I were you, I would research current events that are ongoing and stay with your classmates and to not venture off by yourself.

Congratulations and Good Luck with your decision.



Lucky stiff.
edit on 20-2-2013 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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reply to post by cybro
 


Is that your own picture? Did you travel there recently? I would love to hear more about your experience
edit on 20-2-2013 by jhn7537 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


-----------------


Hello jhn7537,

In as few words as possible - " Forget About Going To Africa To Study "

Unless You Secretly Have A ( Death Wish )

Your mind has already answered your questions about traveling to Africa for you.

" I'm from USA, I'm white, and I'm 27 years old... So I feel that I hit ever checklist for those radical terrorists/pirates who live in that area. Part of me wants to just say forget it, and whatever happens, happens, but another part of me says, be realistic John, and understand that there are real dangers in that area and you should look elsewhere for study abroad if you can....

Bottom line is this, you are White and you will be seen as a representative of " The Great Satan " or ( America )

Anywhere you traveled in Africa, you would be just one big " Walking Target "

And not to even mention that " They " are not Funding 100% of Your Travel and Food Expenses. They're giving
you just enough money to get you over there to Africa and be a " Walking Target " ! Probably hoping that you would be either Kidnapped or Killed, for some unknown ( black-ops ) test case, and not to mention just another Highly Political and Sensational MSM - Main Stream Media Propaganda News story that would Only benefit the ( Military Industrial Complex )

Only Go, If you have a death wish, and you want to be Splashed all over the TV and Internet...



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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Dont let fears hold you back dude, if you wanna do it go for it


Just read a quote from Winston Churchill today that fit me perfectly and sounds like a fit for you too

"When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of troubles in his life, most of which never happened"

I say go for it and dont be one of those people who lets fear make their decisions for them



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by chrisb9
 


You sure know how to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside....


Maybe this is the Govts. way of getting rid of ATS people. Send them to Africa and all will be taken care of....

It does piss me off that the country i live in and are from, USA, has pissed off so many countries to the point where I need to question whether it's okay to travel to or not... Now that's annoying



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:33 AM
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Get all your affairs in order before you go. Just in case.

Addressing the few posts above me - there are "fears" that might hold you back, then there is "actual risk" to your person if you do go. If the state department recommends against going there, then I would heed that advice.

Conquering your fears is one thing, conquering a truckload of heavily armed thugs who have a very negative view of white Americans is quite another.




edit on 20-2-2013 by AwakeinNM because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by AwakeinNM
Get all your affairs in order before you go. Just in case.

Addressing the few posts above me - there are "fears" that might hold you back, then there is "actual risk" to your person if you do go. If the state department recommends against going there, then I would heed that advice.

Conquering your fears is one thing, conquering a truckload of heavily armed thugs who have a very negative view of white Americans is quite another.

edit on 20-2-2013 by AwakeinNM because: (no reason given)


Yea, I see what you're saying, but I just don't see why DePaul University would put its own students in harms way like that, ya know?

But it is hard to just ignore things like what's written below


In the past year, there have been over 30 attacks involving grenades or explosive devices in Kenya. At least 76 people died in these attacks, and around 220 people were injured. There were no U.S. citizens among the casualties. Ten of these attacks occurred in North Eastern Province, mainly in Dadaab, Wajir, and Garissa. Four attacks occurred in Mombasa. Six grenade and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks have occurred in Nairobi, illustrating an increase in the number of attacks and an advance in the sophistication of attacks. Targets included police stations and police vehicles, nightclubs and bars, churches, a mosque, a religious gathering, a downtown building of small shops, and a bus station. One of the deadliest attacks occurred in Nairobi on November 18, 2012, when an IED detonated on a passenger bus in Eastleigh, killing ten. The most fatal attack in Kenya this past year occurred on July 1, 2012, with two simultaneous assaults on churches in Garissa. In this attack, 17 people were killed and about 50 people were injured. Additionally, Kenyan law enforcement has disrupted several terrorist plots, which resulted in the discoveries of weapons caches and other dangerous materials, and the arrests of several individuals.



Multiple kidnappings of Westerners have occurred in Kenya. In September 2011, a British woman was kidnapped and her husband murdered at a coastal resort near the Kenya-Somali border. The British hostage was released in March 2012 after payment of ransom. In October 2011, a French national was kidnapped from a private residence on the popular tourist destination of Lamu Island on Kenya's north coast. She died while in captivity in Somalia. Also in October 2011, two Spanish nationals working for a NGO were kidnapped in a Dadaab refugee camp, in northeastern Kenya. They are still being held. On June 29, 2012, four international aid workers (from Canada, Pakistan, Norway, and the Philippines) were kidnapped in Dadaab. All were rescued on July 1, 2012.



In response to the security threats within Kenya posed by violent extremists, including al-Shabaab, the Government of Kenya announced on December 13, 2012 that all urban refugees (primarily Somalis) should relocate to refugee camps. The Kenyan government is currently conducting sweeps at checkpoints and in predominantly Somali-inhabited areas of Kenya searching for proof of status in Kenya and sending those who are refugees to camps. U.S. citizens of Somali descent should be aware that they may encounter interruptions in their travel due to these directives. It is very important to carry proof of identity and legal status in Kenya (i.e., valid visa). If you are detained by police or immigration officials, you should request to speak to someone from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
edit on 20-2-2013 by jhn7537 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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That was my picture, anyone who wants to rip it feel free.

Kenya is like anyplace else. Don't go wandering around in places you shouldn't go and you will be fine. If you can survive Chicago you will be ok anywhere in the world. America is more dangerous than people understand.

I didn't like Kenya or other places in Africa but if I had never been there I would still go again.

One thing you should do is bring extra cotton t-shirts of any kind. They have a shortage of clothing in Africa and they like cotton especially t-shirts. You can trade a pack of them for things like a case of beer or some of those teak carvings that are way overpriced in the US.

Don't take any more vaccines than you are absolutely forced to. You will get sick there no matter what you do and probably more so if you get pumped with those poisons before you leave.

Otherwise have fun and don't pass up the opportunity to go.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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If you go, don't wear nice stuff. Dress down and don't make yourself stand out.

In a lot of 3rd world countries, the exchange rate and inflation is insane. In some countries, you'll have to hand over a fistfull of paper notes just to buy a soda. Just don't be like me and have them falling out of your pockets all over.


You might want to pick up some pepper spray and a taser. I'm not sure how well a taser works on a lion, but around here they sure seem to work on black bears.


ETA: Also, put a Canadian flag patch on your backpack. Wear a Canadian t-shirt. You'd be surprised how much better you'll be treated if people don't think you're from the USA.
edit on 20-2-2013 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:36 PM
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Is it Kenya specifically that you want to study at, or is it just studying abroad anywhere? Most colleges offer many options that are both covered by financial aid and by grant programs.

www.depaul.edu...

studioabroad.is.depaul.edu...



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by MystikMushroom
 


Africa and few other 3rd world countries think Canada is still the peacekeepers, so yeah, they won't attack you, just don't try to look rich, be normal. No shiny watches or jeweleries.

Plus, if it has university, chances are its a developed city with law enforcement and security, not some backwards village with gangs.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by starskipper
 


It's more about what's available for adult students who have careers too. I can't do your typical study abroad program where you spend like 6 or so months in another region of the world studying. What I'm looking at is more about experiencing other cultures for short-term study abroad programs, like 2-3 weeks. So its not going to another university to study, but you're going to more primitive/tribal areas in Kenya or Tanzania and mixing with their culture, observing and writing essays about your experience as a whole.
edit on 20-2-2013 by jhn7537 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


I believe you should continue to study the trip, gather as much information as possible to keep yourself safe,and enjoy your trip.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 05:21 PM
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SUGGESTION, don't read the warnings go to Englands news papers and look up articels about the area you are going to, they have a better coverage of the area.

Back in the 90's my oldest sister was going to go over there and teach, I sent her articles from Newspapers out of Germany and she changed her mind, that area has a bad reputation for people disappering exspecially if your a white female.

State departments are unrelable with there intel as we all have just seen, look on what is going on in the region and make a sound decision.

Personally I rather go someplace like Iceland or Alaska, the heat is over rated.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 11:03 AM
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Hello, hope you're doing well. My name is Stephanie and I live in Kenya. I would be very glad to answer any questions you have about coming to Kenya. I really have no idea how to work ATS and don't log on much but you could add me on facebook or send me an inbox and I will give you my email there. My name is Stephanie Kanyotu on facebook.

Thank you and have a great day!



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by jhn7537
 


I had friends live out there for a couple of years in a village. No problems what soever... go..





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