FBI Warning College Students Studying Overseas Could Be Recruited As Foreign Spies

DAVIS (CBS13) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning that young adults studying abroad could be recruited as foreign spies.

UC Davis is a leader in study abroad programs in the state, sending more than 1,200 students to more than 45 countries every year.

We spoke to one of the heads of the international program at the school, who tells us that something like what’s depicted in an FBI short film called Game of Pawns.

“We have very, very in-depth orientations for the students. Before they leave, they go through two sets of orientations,” said Adrienne Martin. “When they arrive on site, they go through local orientations where they receive more specific information on the country, and anything that might come up there is discussed.”

UC Davis says they need to evaluate the FBI program before they can decide how to implement it into their program, but they do have a regularly scheduled meeting at the end of the month to discuss emergency guidelines.

Game of Pawns is meant to show the potential for foreign intelligence to approach students from the United States to try and recruit them to give up sensitive or classified information.

It’s a re-enactment of a case that happened three years ago when a former college student from Michigan who studied in China went to federal prison for selling national defense information to Chinese intelligence officers.


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