About Us: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University
Hurricane Ophelia

October 15, 2017

Hurricane Ophelia is headed toward Ireland and is expected to make landfall on October 16, approximately 9 a.m. local time. Previously a category 3 storm, it has been downgraded to a level 1 system and is expected to further weaken before it makes landfall. Southern and coastal areas are expected to receive strong winds and rain, but the storm is expected to last six to 12 hours and move out by the morning hours of October 17. All IFSA-Butler host universities in Ireland are closed on Monday as a precautionary measure. All universities are reopen on Tuesday.

Our resident office in Ireland has informed IFSA-Butler students of Hurricane Ophelia and advised them to follow any guidance from their accommodation, university or local authorities. Students have also been asked to keep their cell phones and laptops charged in the event of power outages, as well as to keep extra food and water in their apartments. Students have an emergency number that they can use 24/7 to reach a resident staff member.  

If you would like more information, please see the following media outlets:

 
Catalonia Independence Referendum Statement

October 6, 2017

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.

Read more...
 
Tropical Storm Nate

October 5, 2017

IFSA-Butler is currently monitoring Tropical Storm Nate, which has formed in the Caribbean. Weather models indicated that this system will either remain a tropical storm or strengthen to a category 1 hurricane. Our students and emergency contacts in Cuba, Mexico and Costa Rica have been notified, and all students are safe and accounted for. Our resident offices have instructed students to follow the direction of local authorities and stay close to their host family homes until the storm passes.

We will continue to make updates should the system change course. If you would like more information about the weather system, please see the following online resources:

www.nhc.noaa.gov
www.washingtonpost.com

 
Travel Warning in Cuba

September 29, 2017

The U.S. State Department issued a Travel Warning for Cuba due to embassy employees having been targeted in sonic attacks of an undetermined nature. These attacks started last year with the most recent having occurred in August. The sonic attacks have occurred at the U.S. Embassy and select hotels. Per the warning, the State Department is having non-emergency U.S. governmental employees and their family members (roughly 60% of their staff) return to the U.S. and is warning U.S. citizens against future travel to Cuba. Please see the State Department’s website for additional details on the warning.

IFSA-Butler students are at very low risk as the attacks have only targeted U.S. Embassy personnel. IFSA-Butler will continue operating the Universidad de Habana for the fall semester as planned.

 We have confirmed with our Resident Director, Michelle Ranieri, that our students do not frequent the locations of the attacks (U.S. Embassy and nearby hotels) as they live with host families and are very involved with their Cuban university and society. Students are being made aware of the travel warning and are being urged to avoid the U.S. Embassy, nearby hotels, and well-known hangouts where Americans congregate. As always, they are encouraged to reach out to resident staff with any questions or concerns. Please note that emergency services will still be available to U.S. citizens.

 
Political Unrest in Barcelona

September 25, 2017

In recent weeks, there has been an increasing political dispute betweenSpanish and local Catalan governments, which has led some peaceful political demonstrations in Barcelona. The Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona started the new academic year and the IFSA-Butler Engage program in Barcelona is running as scheduled.

More information can be found here.

 
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