When students, scholars are drawn to conflict zones, colleges are torn between risk and reward

TRAVELAssociated Press

Colleges across the U.S. are debating whether it's safe to let students and faculty study in areas of conflict.

Some scholars and students are drawn to conflict zones as subjects of study, including a Tufts University professor who's leading a conference on civics studies in Ukraine next month. And interest in studying in the Middle East has grown in recent years.

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But colleges commonly say the risk is too great. Many refuse to pay for travel to troubled countries, and some insurance policies won't cover those areas.

Those on the other side of the debate say the reward of seeing history unfold is worth the risk.

Still, many colleges pulled students out of Egypt after a 2011 uprising, and some have stopped letting students study in Ukraine after conflict there.