Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney Pushes for Law to Make Studying Abroad Safer

Studying Abroad in college is an experience many students take advantage of but as Time Warner Cable News reporter Candace Dunkley shares, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney is now pushing legislation that he hopes will make that experience safer and hopefully save lives.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Ros Thackurdeen said when she sent her 19-year-old son Ravi to study abroad in Costa Rica she expected he’d be safe. But she said the program took the students on a surprise trip to the beach without warning them of the dangerous riptides.

“It’s advertised that there’s six rivers that point to that beach, one being the largest in Costa Rica. It’s very turbulent and it’s not a beach recommended for swimming only for walking and it’s posted on the hotel website where they took the kids,” said Thackurdeen.

Ravi drowned at that beach. That’s why Ros joined Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney to announce The Ravi Thackurdeen Safe Students Study Abroad Act. The law would require universities to report crimes that occur while students are studying abroad and to provide educational orientations to students before they go on their trip.

“To have a conversation between educators and their students about what they’re doing, what they should expect, the kind of things they should prepare for and the questions they should ask, and it provides an opportunity to learn from the students experience when they come back,” said Congressman Maloney.

Noelle Damon said such information might have saved her daughter's life. She said her daughter Zoe Damon died in a crash in Costa Rica. She said the professor who was driving, was operating the vehicle during rainy season when roads are known to be bad.

“If the students are going to go and the professors are going to go, that there’d be different precautions taken, maybe there would be drivers or they wouldn’t be traveling in the country during these times where the roads are getting washed away,” said Damon.

Congressman Maloney said he will introduce the bill next week. It will be the second time he has introduced this bill. It’s a fight for change that Ros said keeps her going.

“This is the only thing otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” said Thackurdeen.

WEB EXTRA: Hear from Pretha Wilson whose son Adrien Wilson drowned in 2008 in Spain while participating in an exchange program.

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