A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

START expands study abroad opportunities


START expands study abroad opportunities

August 31, 2015Jessica Rivinius

Five years after Japan’s March 11, 2011 triple disaster and 21 years after the March 20, 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, University of Maryland students will travel to Japan with START to better understand the field of disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) and disaster recovery. 

Building on previous study abroad programs and adding to its portfolio of opportunities, START began this exchange last year. The program considers the relationship between disasters, political reform and social reform, and provides students with the cross-cultural tools and knowledge to make sense of why and how major disasters—natural and man-made—affect societies long after the initial damage is done.

“One of our primary missions at START is to educate the next generation of terrorism scholars and analysts,” said Kate Izsak, Director of Education at START. “Taking our students abroad and allowing them the opportunity to absorb different cultures and different perspectives on terrorism is a crucial part of this effort.  Students are often unable to truly appreciate the lasting consequences of disasters or terrorist attacks until they are in a place touched by them.”

The spring break trip to Japan complements other current offerings at START including a winter term trip that will take students to three continents, and summer term trips to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

The trips blend traditional classroom learning at institutions abroad with online tools and experiential techniques to encourage students to make the most of their trips.

“For instance, in this summer’s trip to Singapore, we were able prime students with the current academic literature on radicalization and deradicalization to enhance their ability to sort through the complexities of intervention programs in a fast paced, international environment,” said Marcella Morris, START Education Coordinator. “Studying a complex topic organically – where you can ask questions of experts and experience local conditions first-hand – enhances the learning process because students are immersed 24/7 in the context of what they are exploring.”

For more information and to register for any of START’s study abroad programs, visit START’s Study Abroad and International Education page here.