Students Traveling Abroad Information Page

The information posted here are resource links for students who will be traveling abroad to review prior to leaving. This information is has been provided by Special Agent Bill Vigorito from the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“Three years ago, Glenn Duffie Shriver, a Michigan resident and former college student who had studied in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), was sentenced to federal prison in the U.S. for attempting to provide national defense information to PRC intelligence officers.

According to the Institute of International Education, more than 280,000 American students studied abroad last year. These experiences provide students with tremendous cultural opportunities and can equip them with specialized language, technical, and leadership skills that make them very marketable to U.S. private industry and government employers.

But this same marketability makes these students tempting and vulnerable targets for recruitment by foreign intelligence officers whose long-term goal is to gain access to sensitive or classified U.S. information. Glenn Shriver—prodded by foreign intelligence officers into eventually applying for U.S. government jobs—cited his naivety as a key factor in his actions.

The FBI—as the lead counterintelligence agency in the U.S.—has ramped up efforts to educate American university students preparing to study abroad about the dangers of knowingly or unknowingly getting caught up in espionage activities. As part of these efforts, we’re making available on our “Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story” video, which dramatizes the incremental steps taken by intelligence officers to recruit Shriver and convince him to apply for jobs with the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. We’d like American students traveling overseas to view this video before leaving the U.S. so they’re able to recognize when they’re being targeted and/or recruited.

Please share this information with your other campus public safety contacts. They are encouraged to use these resources on their campuses.