Wednesday, August 10, 2011
IFSA-Butler students in Santiago have started classes as scheduled. Demonstrations related to the ongoing academic strikes are taking place in a different area of Santiago and have not interfered with student registration, courses, housing or the ability to proceed in the program as planned.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Although the Santiago demonstrations have attracted more attention in the press, we do not anticipate that they will significantly affect our Santiago students' semester in Chile. Only the students at the public universities in Santiago are on strike, which means that IFSA-Butler students can still take classes at our program's two affiliated private universities, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad Diego Portales. Both of these universities offer a wide range of subjects and courses.
Both of our affiliated universities in Valparaíso are on strike, with no immediate agreement between students and the Chilean government in sight. Fortunately, our resident director in Valparaíso, Viviana Vasquez, has been working for several weeks with the universities in Valparaíso to develop an academic backup plan for our students. This backup plan will still allow them to remain in the area while still earning a full semester's worth of university course credit. Viviana is working with the students to obtain approval for these courses from their home universities.
Friday, August 4, 2011
IFSA-Butler is monitoring a new round of student protests in Santiago and Valparaíso Chile, which resulted in clashes with police on Thursday, August 4.
Our resident director in Santiago, Isabel Yevenes, has reported that the protests have not affected IFSA-Butler programs and that IFSA-Butler students were able to attend classes on Thursday. Isabel has been in regular contact with students to verify their safety and to remind them of safety precautions with regard to the education strikes, including staying away from protests and demonstrations.
Our resident director in Valparaíso, Viviana Vasquez, is also reviewing the situation carefully. She has been in contact with our affiliated universities to discuss issues such as course availability to IFSA-Butler students and whether the upcoming semester will begin as scheduled later this month.
Both Santiago and Valparaíso have had sporadic high school and university student protests since June. The students are protesting education budget cuts and other issues.
Academic strikes are very common in other countries. Click here for IFSA-Butler's FAQs regarding academic strikes.