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Tropical Cyclone to Hit Queensland, Australia

February 19, 2015

IFSA-Butler is closely monitoring current weather conditions in northeastern Australia, particularly the Queensland area. Tropical Cyclone Marcia is predicted to make landfall approximately at 4 a.m. Friday, February 20 (Australia time) near Yeppoon, which is 400 km (250 miles) south of Townsville and 400 km (250 miles) north of Brisbane. It has been rated a Category 4 storm. Emergency officials predict that a large quantity of rain will fall in a very short amount of time.

Students at James Cook University (Townsville and Cairnes)
The IFSA-Butler resident staff checked in with all students in Townsville and Cairnes, and they have been alerted to the situation. At this time, the students are not in the immediate path of the storm, but heavy rains are expected with possible flooding. The IFSA-Butler resident staff and host university housing officials will keep students informed of the progress of the storm and any emergency instructions.  

Students at Griffith University and University of Queensland (Gold Coast and Brisbane)
IFSA-Butler students who just arrived for the Griffith University and University of Queensland programs are still in Sydney for the program orientation, and they are not in the path of the storm. Students are scheduled to travel to their respective host cities on Saturday, February 21. Our resident staff will continue to monitor the weather situation, and if needed, will make travel changes for students if needed.   

At this time, we do not believe that IFSA-Butler students are danger from this storm. We will continue to monitor its progress and advise students accordingly. All students received instructions on what to do during inclement weather during IFSA-Butler orientation. Additionally, they received the 24/7 emergency cell phone number for our resident staff, and they can contact either the local student services coordinator or the resident director for assistance.  

For more information about the storm, please see the following media outlets:  



Feel free to contact IFSA-Butler at 800-858-0229 if you have any questions or concerns.

Student Strikes in Mexico

January 23, 2015

Administrators at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mexico have gone on strike, which has caused a shutdown of the entire university. At this time there is no indication of how long the strike will last, so IFSA-Butler is making alternate plans to ensure that our students will still be able to attend classes and earn full credit for the semester. Below are FAQs about this situation.

What classes are IFSA-Butler students currently taking?
IFSA-Butler students are still able to take the mandatory IFSA-Butler Spanish class and the Exploring Community & Culture program course, in combination with field visits to archaeological sites in the area. Students can also opt to take another IFSA-Butler program course, History of Mayan Culture and Civilization. Because these three courses are organized by IFSA-Butler and are not UADY courses, they are not affected by the strike.

What are the plans for students if the UADY strike goes on for a long time?
IFSA-Butler students may be able to enroll, for no additional cost, in one of two local private universities in order to maintain a full courseload and earn full credit while in Mexico.

Has the strike been violent?
There has been no violence or unrest associated with this strike.

Are strikes common at universities in Latin America?
Strikes by students, faculty or administration are common and accepted forms of protest in many countries around the world, including Latin America. Click here to read IFSA-Butler's FAQs about university strikes abroad.

Stabbing in Tel Aviv

January 21, 2015

IFSA-Butler is closely monitoring this morning's stabbing incident that took place on a crowded public bus in southern Tel Aviv. It is reported that 13 people were stabbed by a lone assailant during rush hour, and that the suspect has been apprehended by the police. Occurrences like this are very rare in Tel Aviv. It is believed that this was a "lone wolf" attack, meaning that the suspect was working alone and not as a part of a militant group.

IFSA-Butler students are currently in Jerusalem participating in the IFSA-Butler and Hebrew University orientations, and all have been accounted for.

IFSA-Butler students in Jerusalem receive two orientations at the beginning of their study abroad experience: One conducted by IFSA-Butler staff in Tel Aviv and the other by Hebrew University staff in Jerusalem. During both of these orientations, several sessions are dedicated to personal safety and security while living in Jerusalem. Additionally, IFSA-Butler brings in a regional security specialist from Max Security Solutions, a security and intelligence company based out of Tel Aviv, to provide more in-depth information about the conflicts and current events in the region, places to avoid and how to travel and live safely in Israel.

For more information about this morning's incident, please see the following media outlets:

IFSA-Butler Statement on Ebola

November 5, 2014

IFSA-Butler is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak that has gravely affected three countries in Western Africa. While IFSA-Butler does not have study abroad programs in this region, we are cognizant of potential for the virus to spread to other countries where IFSA-Butler students are currently studying or preparing to study for next semester. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), the current risk for contagion outside of Western Africa is minimal, even during airplane travel. We consider the CDC and WHO to be the authorities on the matter, and we check their websites daily for updates.

Explosion in Santiago, Chile

September 26, 2014

On September 25 at 1 a.m., a homemade bomb exploded in historical downtown Santiago. The man who allegedly built the device was killed as the bomb exploded while he was setting it up. The Chilean authorities have declared this an act of delinquency, based on various factors regarding that individual's behavior, and was not related to terror.

Th explosion happened in Barrio Yungay, in the western part of Santiago; IFSA-Butler students live in the southeastern part of the city.

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