The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

The semester of living dangerously: 10 of the dodgiest study-abroad locales

Year of Living Dangerously,  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Photo: YouTube screenshot Year of Living Dangerously, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Photo: YouTube screenshot  

Yes, the United States Department of State is filled with ninnies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to those ninnies when they tell you to avoid demonstrations in foreign countries. After all, good advice can come from anyone.

Kenyon College student Andrew Pochter didn’t listen. He was in Egypt to teach English to children and to practice his own Arabic, just in time for massive protests and an eventual coup d’état.

Pochter, 21, was present during clashes in Alexandria between supporters and opponents of the country’s since-deposed president. A protester stabbed him in the chest. He later died in an Egyptian hospital. (RELATED: The American killed in Egypt during violent protests was there teaching English)

You — or your children — may be interested in risking the same fate in the name of tourism. Alternatively, you might want to learn about some places to avoid because you want to avoid the same fate.

Either way, The Daily Caller is here to help. Below are 10 thrilling locales where you can study abroad as an American college student and also risk life and limb.

Alexandria riots. Photo: Getty Images

Over 50 percent of the junior class at highfalutin Middlebury College studies abroad. One possible locale is Alexandria, Egypt — “the Pearl of the Mediterranean” and “a popular travel destination for Egyptians, writers, and foreigners alike,” touts the Middlebury website. Just watch your back. “Clashes have broken out in the Egyptian city of Alexandria between anti- and pro-government supporters that have left at least one dead and more than 80 wounded,” reported an authority no less than Al Jazeera in late June. American student Andrew Pochter was killed at a protest in Alexandria last week. The State Department’s travel webpage on Egypt has a novella concerning “threats to safety and security.” Molotov cocktails and “burning debris” are among a throng of problems.

Venezuela march. Photo: Getty Images/Luis Acosta

Students at the State University of New York College at Cortland can spend up to a year in the colonial city of Merida, Venezuela, “deep in the heart of the Venezuelan Andes.” Cortland State’s website calls the surrounding area “unspoiled by the onslaught of tourism” — earnest college students excluded, of course. However, the Chavez (and post-Chavez) era has fallen slightly short of a socialist paradise. The State Department’s travel webpage on Venezuela calls violent crime “pervasive” and notes that “the country’s overall per capita murder rate is cited as one of the top five in the world.” Kidnappings occur regularly. Armed robberies are also ubiquitous, “including in areas generally presumed safe and frequented by tourists.”