Responding to increasing fears of terrorism, the Wharton School announced this month that no student will be required to travel overseas as part of school programs. The policy change -- spearheaded by David Reibstein, Wharton's vice dean for the graduate division -- will go into effect immediately. According to Reibstein, the policy is subject to change as situations in the Persian Gulf war change and the U.S. State Department issues new advisories. A group of Wharton graduate students were scheduled to go to Thailand later this spring, but their trip was canceled due to an advisory issued by the State Department, Reibstein said. "I could not sanction any such trip," he added. The policy change will also directly influence MBA candidates enrolled in the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, who were required to travel abroad for two summers. Reibstein explained that the school is working on developing an alternate program which would bring speakers to the local area. Reibstein also said that some Lauder students may choose to travel despite the ruling, but he does not want students to feel forced into traveling abroad during the crisis. "I am sure that, for a lot of students, they will still decide to go," Reibstein said. MBA students who are taking a course in Japanese business, which originally required a study tour, will also not be required to travel. Reibstein said that they will still receive credit for the course even if they opt not to travel to Japan. First-year Wharton MBA student Jose Montoya, who is enrolled in the Lauder program, said he understands the need for the policy, but feels that the program, which is dedicated to international cultures, will be incomplete. "It is fine, but the Lauder program will lose some of the cultural and language perspective, a major part of the program," Montoya said. Another Lauder program student, Second-year Wharton graduate student Theresa Gende -- who has already completed her international travel for the program -- said her experiences were invaluable. "I have been abroad . . . and I know it can be scary," Gende said. "It should be left up to the student, but that destroys the entire program."Comments powered by Disqus
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