Costa Rican labor unions called for a nationwide strike on September 10 to protest a proposed tax plan. Demonstrations have been taking place since then mainly in San Jose, located about 8 miles from Heredia, where the students live. IFSA students have had limited class cancellations due to the strike.
How students are impacted
So far, students remain minimally affected, and our resident staff has reminded them to avoid the areas where these demonstrations are taking place. The professors have indicated that missed classes will be made up. Meetings with students that had been previously scheduled for today in the IFSA office will be held as normal. We do not expect any negative academic consequences due to this strike.
In addition, last night the administration at Universidad Nacional announced that evening classes as well as classes today will be cancelled as a precaution due to heightened pressure on campus. Initial negotiations to resolve the strike began yesterday and continue today, and we are hopeful that things will return to normal soon. Please note that demonstrations remain isolated to San Jose.
What IFSA is doing
IFSA’s full-time Health and Safety team keep a close watch on security events in Costa Rica and all of our programs. IFSA adheres to the health, safety, security and risk management guidelines and best practices in the field of international education as established by NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad. We also consult regularly with governmental agencies and private sector resources, as well as other safety and security professionals in the field of international education. This broad network allows us to remain well-informed and up to date on best practices.
IFSA’s Health and Safety team, works with the resident staff in each host country to ensure students are accounted for and receive the proper support and care. Additionally, the team is constantly monitoring international news and governmental reports in order to assess worldwide security conditions, respond appropriately quickly in the event of an emergency. Resident directors guide students through safety practices and consistently check in, providing any information and support that is needed. Students are given an emergency phone number for our resident staff and our emergency assistance provider that they can call 24/7 in the event of an emergency.
We will continue to closely monitor security events in Costa Rica and provide you with relevant updates as needed.
If you would like more information about this security event, please see the following media outlets.