About Us: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University
Most of Mexico is as Safe As Ever, Says Travel Writer

Despite heavy news coverage of drug killings on the northern border towns, most of Mexico is as safe as ever, says a travel writer. Her article specifically mentions Mérida as a charming and safe city, and it notes that avoiding Mexico because of the border violence is like "avoiding New York City becaue of a killing in Denver."

The U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning for the Northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros until April 12. However, the Travel Warning does not affect IFSA-Butler's program location of Mérida, which is located in a tranquil area of southeast Mexico, many hours from the cities to which the warning applies. Map of Mexico

 
Egypt University Protests
University students in Egypt have been protesting on campuses around the country this week. The protests are in support of political change in anticipation of the presidential election, scheduled to take place in 10 months. There also have been peaceful demonstrations to protest the Israeli government's construction of more settlements in Jerusalem.

The protests and demonstrations have been nonviolent and confined to campuses. However, if the protests move from the grounds of the campuses, police may become involved. IFSA-Butler is therefore prohibiting students to refrain from participating in any campus protests. We also remind students to avoid engaging in conversations about politics, democracy, free speech rights, etc., as such discussions may be misinterpreted as critical of Egyptian politics and culture.

IFSA-Butler's Egypt Resident Director, Dr. Mohamed El-Komi, has also addressed this issue directly with the students who are currently in Cairo and Alexandria.

 
Storm Damage in Perth
The city of Perth in Western Australia has experienced extensive damage following several severe storms.

The University of Western Australia has sustained damage to several university buildings and one residential college, though there were no reports of injuries. The damaged buildings have been closed, but the university remained open for classes today. No IFSA-Butler students are living in the damaged residential college.

There were reports of blackouts throughout the city, but power companies are working to restore electricity as quickly as possible.

 
Travel Warning for Mexico Not Applicable to Yucatán
The U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning for the Northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros until April 12.

Please note that this Travel Warning does not affect IFSA-Butler's program in Mérida. The city is located in tranquil southeast Mexico, many hours from the cities to which the warning applies. Map of Mexico

 
Valparaíso program update

Updated Wednesday, March 3, 2:30 p.m. EST
IFSA-Butler has officially rescheduled the Valparaíso program start date for March 12. Below are some additional details about the new arrival date and our Valparaíso program.

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.

 

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