For many American college students, spending a semester abroad is considered a crucial part of a well-rounded education. But fears about the Ebola outbreak have prompted many colleges and universities to restrict student travel to West Africa, where the number of Ebola cases is now pegged at around 10,000.

Each year, some 3,000 American college students study abroad in that region, the majority of them in Ghana, which has not reported any cases of Ebola, but about 200 students go to the Ebola-stricken nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

Lasell College's vice president for academic affairs, Jim Ostrow, cites concerns about Ebola as a factor in the decision to cancel a student trip to Uganda, even though that country has not reported any Ebola cases.  

Jennifer Yanco is the executive director of the West African Research Association at Boston University.  

Follow the impressive Ebola coverage of our colleagues at PRI’s The World.