Studying abroad anywhere gets students out of their comfort zone and can provide security challenges as a result. It is up to each individual student to come prepared for anything they might face in their host country, which includes staying healthy as possible and following directives the program provides.
The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority at American University. Our students are provided with an intense orientation in which security is a main topic on arrival, and we require students to attend regular security briefings throughout the semester. The structure and nature of our program allows us to be flexible, nimbly adjusting to circumstances as they change. We continually assess the situation in Nairobi and elsewhere from every perspective and change/enhance our program's security measures as the situation dictates. We meet regularly with personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, through singular interactions or to attend security briefings.
The Kenyan authorities have put in place many additional security measures in protecting Kenyan residents. There are police and other security personnel patrolling the streets, manning checkpoints in public places, and inspecting all forms of public transportation.
Our program staff maintain nearly daily contact with our students, and emergency plans are in place should they need to be utilized.
In maintaining this study abroad experience, it is paramount that students follow our policy and rules, even as they change as the situation dictates. Any infraction could be grounds for a student to be sent home. Living in Nairobi and Kenya does come with challenges, but the rewards are tenfold!