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Traveling in a dangerous world – Issues, experts & ideas

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January 03, 2007
Bangkok travel risky
Staying open in a shaky world


Bangkok travel risky
It may be a new year with new resolutions, but that hasn’t improved the political instability that persists globally and Southeast Asia is no exception. Earl Drake, an adjunct professor and project director with SFU’s David Lam centre for international communication, can comment on the Canadian government’s latest warning: stay out of Bangkok. The recent explosion of nine deadly bombs in the Thai capital prompted several countries to issue a travel warning. “People should pay attention to these warnings. They are not issued lightly,” says Drake, a former Canadian ambassador to China and Indonesia who is familiar with Thailand. Drake can elaborate on the importance of travelers registering with the Canadian embassy in foreign countries that are hot spots.

Earl Drake, 604.291.5110, earl_drake@sfu.ca

Staying open in a shaky world
The tendency to want to hunker down and stay safe in one’s own country is taking hold of many people and governments in light of civil wars, terrorism and political instability globally. But SFU International — an office that helps staff, students and faculty integrate world travel into their studies, research and professional development — encourages world travel even in shaky times. SFU has just approved $100,000 in new international awards funding to encourage student participation in international programs. Judith Phillips, acting director at SFU International, can elaborate on this. She can also explain how her office balances maintaining the safety of traveling university community members with encouraging participation in international field schools and university exchanges. “We take everyone’s safety seriously. But it is only through fostering global understanding and cultural awareness that the world can achieve conflict resolution and dialogue,” says Phillips.

Judith Phillips, 604.268.7367, Judith_phillips@sfu.ca