IFSA-Butler has been closely monitoring Catalonia’s referendum for independence from Spain and the central government’s related actions. Despite heightened political tensions and violence in polling areas on Sunday, October 3, no violence, threats, or tensions have been aimed at U.S. citizens or foreigners, including U.S. university students. All of the violence was localized at the polls where citizens were voting. This places our students at low risk for safety or security concerns. U.S. students and foreigners in general are not part of the current political process and would not be targeted during these events.
IFSA-Butler students have been advised to avoid protests, political rallies, and polling locations; additionally, we have suggested that they avoid political arguments. Students are aware that while the majority of demonstrations, rallies, and protests in other countries may begin peacefully, they may quickly turn violent. As per the IFSA-Butler Student Acceptance Agreement students signed before arriving in Barcelona, they may not participate or actively observe such gatherings.