Ukraine crisis: Studying abroad amidst total war

Students are invited to light a candle for Ukraine at Zumbachs school.

Students are invited to “light a candle for Ukraine” at Zumbach’s school.

Raquel Upson, Correspondent

Jessica Zumbach is currently in Seville, Spain completing a semester-long language immersion program.

She first learned about Russia’s invasion from her professor, who came into class horrified, on the day of the attacks. The news was playing downstairs for students and faculty to watch, which sparked much conversation in the days to follow.

Jessica Zumbach

“We’ve been talking about it,” said Zumbach. “My professor mentioned to me that Spain is trying to help as much as they can … They’re helping the soldiers in [NATO] by opening up churches and buildings for them to stay in.”

Red Cross signs have been set up in Zumbach’s school, and billboards in support of Ukraine are hung throughout the city.

“Ukraine needs us,” reads a sign on the streets of Spain.

The school is full of students from neighboring European countries who have been anxious during this time and curious to know how the US is planning on handling the conflict.

“That’s what most people from other countries here are concerned about,” said Zumbach. “How is the United States going to address the crisis?”

Statistic: Number of civilian casualties in Ukraine during Russia's invasion verified by OHCHR as of April 17, 2022 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Another student, Lindsay Eggen has plans to study abroad in Italy this summer. Eggen said that after hearing about the war she was nervous at first, but since the orientation of her trip, she’s no longer worried.

“They’ve had us look at all the government websites and travel advisories and there’s nothing about the Ukraine crisis in Italy right now,” said Eggen. “From everything I’ve heard, the town that we’re going to is really safe. It’s a small town.”

Lindsay Eggen

Eggen said that COVID still remains one of the biggest concerns on her advisories.