Hostilities, Travel and Teens

Hostilities, Travel and Teens

Off to Israel 7.8.14

Although international study has been a part of the education scene for decades, the increase in study abroad programs has skyrocketed in recent years. Along with semester abroad programs, there are also countless camp and leadership programs that travel to points around the globe.

Yesterday morning, our son Philip nervously boarded an airplane to travel to Israel. He is one of two Junior Counselors heading to Israel in advance of the San Francisco Diller Teen Fellows cohort that will be heading to Israel. With this week’s escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas along with the hundreds of missiles being sent over Israel’s civilian areas, there has been much discussion between Janice and me about whether or not he should go. We had similar conversations prior to our daughter’s semester abroad in Israel eighteen months ago.

Although some parents would say “no way” and certainly ask “why would I allow my child to head to a war zone” we felt (nervously) that he should go. The group is well supervised and we were assured by the group’s leaders that they would be carefully monitoring the situation.

As I woke to Philip’s phone call this morning telling us they had landed in Israel and then checked the news, I learned that Hamas has further escalated their civilian attacks including shooting longer range missiles near Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport. I know that many of you send your high school and college students abroad and I am curious as to what you think.

So tell us if you would:

1. What discussions did you as parents have prior to your teen deciding to study overseas?

2. Would these discussions be different if your child was under/over 18?

3. What discussions did you have with your child?

4. What did you or your child ultimately decide?

Philip, like most teens, does not communicate much during his trips abroad, but I will update this blog if I feel it is relevant to the conversation. Thanks in advance for your response.

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