When I woke up in St. Petersburg on the morning of April 3, 2017, I went to Russian class and was planning on going into the city to buy some postcards. But 15 minutes before leaving, we received news of an attack in the Russian Metro.

On December 19, 2016, I was in Berlin. My study abroad classmates had been departing for home over the previous few days, and I was out to dinner with my host-mom to thank her for hosting me for the previous four months. It wasn’t until I reached W-Lan that I heard the horrific news of a truck driving through a German Christmas Market that was only a few miles from my host-mom and I, at a Christmas market where friends and I had shared laughs and bratwurst.

The point of this is that we cannot plan for when these things happen. We cannot avoid terror, whether you are there in the United States or abroad. These are the times we are growing up in, the times that make us grow faster and differently. In times like these, you see communities come together to stand up to fear, not bow down to its invalid authority.


Be smart. Be aware. Be venturous.


So please do not let events like these keep you from studying abroad. The world is a big place, with danger at almost every corner, but the likelihood of this is minimal — and a life spent hiding is one spent without meaning.