|Valparaíso program update|
Updated Wednesday, March 3, 2:30 p.m. EST
1. If you are taking the group flight and you booked your domestic ticket through Advantage Travel, Advantage will also change your domestic ticket to arrive in Miami on March 11. Advantage will e-mail you with your updated domestic ticket details.
2. If you are taking the group flight but booked your domestic ticket on your own, contact your airline or travel agent to rebook your domestic flight. Be sure to book a flight that arrives in Miami at least two hours before the departure of the group flight (11:45 p.m.). Please e-mail your updated domestic travel plans to Donnetta Spears.
3. If you are traveling independently and are still in the U.S., contact your travel agent or airline to rebook your flight to Santiago. Please do not plan to arrive earlier than March 10 or later than March 12. E-mail your updated travel plans to Donnetta Spears.
4. If you are already in Chile, you may move into your host family's home on or after Saturday, March 6. Please contact our Valparaíso resident director, Viviana Vasquez, so that she can help you make arrangements to meet up with your host family
5. Orientation will now take place March 12-14. Obviously the originally planned sessions and activities will be consolidated, but our orientation will still cover essential academic, cultural and safety topics.
6. The Valparaíso universities have agreed to allow IFSA-Butler students to register for classes on March 15.
Updated Tuesday, March 2, 3:20 p.m. EST
Updated Monday, March 1, 4:45 p.m. EST
IFSA-Butler has cancelled the March 2 group flight to Santiago, Chile, that was scheduled for our Valparaíso students. We are working hard to establish an updated arrival date for Valparaíso students, but the safety of our students is paramount. Therefore, we are monitoring updates from the following entities so that we can establish a safe, realistic arrival date, arrival city and orientation program for students:
-Universities in Valparaíso: The universities must assess damage to university buildings and determine when classes may start for the semester. Campus officials were scheduled to meet about this issue at noon Valparaíso time Monday, but this meeting was delayed until late Monday afternoon.
-U.S. Department of State, which issued a travel alert for Chile earlier Monday. The alert strongly discourages non-essential travel to Chile at this time, mostly due to the situation at the Santiago airport (see below).
-American Airlines, our group flight airline. American is canceling flights to Santiago on a day-by-day basis.
-Santiago airport officials: Although some flights are landing, non-passengers are not being allowed in the damaged airport terminal. Instead, arriving passengers are being shuttled to several different bus stations. We will not fly our students into Santiago until we are confident that our staff can meet them in a single, secure location in the terminal.
Below are some actions that IFSA-Butler is currently taking to ensure safety once the program does begin: