About Us: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University
Travel Safety Update

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In light of recent world events IFSA-Butler has been closely monitoring world news, reports from the U.S. Department of State and the government of the United Kingdom, as well as security information from our private security intelligence company.

At this time, all IFSA-Butler programming for both fall/semester 2, 2015 and spring/semester 1, 2016 study abroad programming will continue as originally planned. Official program dates can be found on the IFSA-Butler website.

We take your safety and security very seriously. A dedicated team of individuals regularly monitors the reports mentioned above, assesses current security conditions in all IFSA-Butler program locations and surrounding areas, as well as responds to emergencies and critical incidents that may happen during the course of a program. Each IFSA-Butler program location counts on the dedication and expertise of our fulltime resident staff, whom are our local experts on your host country and city.

Before studying abroad, we suggest you check out the following resources:

  1. Review country specific information on the U.S. Department of State (http://www.travel.state.gov/) website for valuable information on topics ranging from safety and security to visa requirements.
  2. Register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (http://www.travel.state.gov/) .
  3. Check out the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/) website for information regarding health concerns and recommended vaccinations for your program location.
  4. Read up on local news and current events. News outlets like the BBC provide excellent coverage and in-depth background information to provide you with a good understanding of recent events.
  5. Speak with CISI about any physical or mental health conditions that you may have in order to verify insurance coverage and access to medications while abroad.
  6. Contact your program advisor directly if you have any questions about safety and security at your host university or program location.
 
Update on Paris Attacks
November 14, 2015

Last night, IFSA-Butler located 20 program students who are visiting Paris over the weekend. The students have reported that they are safe and sheltering-in-place in their Paris accomodations. Parents and home university advisors of these students have been notified of their students' wellbeing.

At this time, IFSA-Butler recommends that all students in Paris continue to shelter-in-place until the French government lifts the State of Emergency and local authorities verify that it is safe to move about the city. Students have been advised to continue with their regularly scheduled travel plans back to their respective study abroad programs. The French airports and train stations are open; however, they are running on a slight delay. Students should therefore contact their transportation provider ahead of time to confirm departure times, as well as arrive at the airport or train station several hours before departure.

IFSA-Butler students with travel plans to Paris this weekend have been advised to reschedule their trips for the time being.

We will continue to monitor developments coming out of France over the weekend. For more information, please see the following resources:

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-europe-34815972)

CNN (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/13/europe/paris-attacks-at-a-glance/index.html)

U.S. Embassy (http://france.usembassy.gov/usc_travelinfo.html)

Contact Eryn Espín-Kudzinski, Director of Health, Safety and Security, with any questions or concerns.

 
Attacks in Paris

November 13, 2015

IFSA-Butler is monitoring events in Paris, France, where more than 100 people have been reported dead in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. Although IFSA-Butler does not have programs in France, some students on our England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales programs are known to have traveled to Paris on their own for the weekend. Our resident offices in these countries have been in contact with these students to verify that they are safe and unharmed by the attacks.

IFSA-Butler requires students to report all personal travels outside of their host city, so our health and safety staff are in the process of reviewing other student travel plans to ensure that we have accounted for all students who traveled to France for the weekend. IFSA-Butler is also aware that the French government has closed the borders to the country, so our staff abroad will keeps students updated on the ability to travel back to their host country before classes on Monday.

We will continue to monitor this situation throughout the weekend. Please contact Eryn Espín-Kudzinski, Director of Health, Safety and Security with any questions or concerns.

 
Ash Cloud Restricts Air Travel to Australia

Airports in Bali have experienced extensive closures and delays due to winds blowing volcanic ash clouds into incoming and outgoing flight paths. Major Australian carriers have canceled flights, preventing several IFSA-Butler students from returning to Australia from their vacation to Bali.

Many students will have exams starting next week, so our student services coordinators in Australia have contacted the students with instructions for how to complete a special consideration application should they miss their examinations due to travel issues.

If you have any questions or concerns about this incident, please do not hesitate to contact Director of Health, Safety and Security Eryn Espín-Kudzinski.

 
Hurricane Patricia Update

Hurricane Patricia, one of the strongest recorded hurricanes in history, is expected to hit landfall in Mexico this weekend, bringing winds near 200 miles per hour and catastrophic amounts of rain.

Although all of Mexico will likely experience heavy rain because of the hurricane, Patricia is projected to hit on the southwest coast of Mexico around Puerta Vallarta. IFSA-Butler's program location in the state of Yucatán is on the opposite side of Mexico and therefore is not expected to experience any serious damage from Patricia. IFSA-Butler's resident director in Mexico, Diana Arízaga, will keep students and their host families updated on any emergency recommendations related to the rain.

For more information, we recommend the following news sources:

 
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