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Ukraine Situation Won’t Impact IFSA Programs Now

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March 4, 2022

We are deeply concerned and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and its humanitarian consequences. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and all who advocate for peace, understanding, and respect between people and nations.  

How is IFSA monitoring the situation?
With heightened concern about potential implications for our Europe students and programs, we have been communicating with students and IFSA staff for weeks. As the Russian military assault continues, we will continue to review and evaluate safety reports and threat-intelligence from OSAC, the U.S. Department of State, AlertMedia, Drum Cussac, and other sources daily.  

How could this situation impact our programs in Europe?
Right now, we do not foresee impact on current or future programs. All European countries in which we operate—including those in the UK, as well as Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic—are NATO member states, bound by the principle of collective defense. (Ireland is an exception due to its long-standing policy of military neutrality, although it also actively participates in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.) As a result, we do not anticipate direct military involvement from any of these countries, unless there is drastic escalation, and the conflict widens. 

Experts have warned of complications to travel and/or disruption to the supply of oil, gas, wheat, and other goods in Europe, depending on the extent of military action and international response. Significant disruption is likely to raise prices for goods and services in Europe and worldwide, particularly for energy and groceries.   

What should students know now?
Current students: 

  • Avoid travel to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and other countries that border Ukraine. 
  • Avoid protests, rallies, and demonstrations, which can turn violent quickly and without warning. 
  • Given potential for disruption to flight travel, limit travel to within your host country and log all travel plans outside of your host city via the IFSA Student Portal. 
  • Download AlertMedia on your local phone and keep your phone with you.  
  • U.S. citizens and nationals should sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program through the Department of State. Non-U.S. citizens and nationals should sign up with the appropriate embassy or consulate. 

Prospective students:

  • We do not expect to extend application deadlines.  
  • We will continue to share information, and we’ll be in touch about next steps and implications if the situation changes.    
  • Once in country, expect support from our experienced resident and health and safety staff, trained to manage a range of incidents and emergency situations, and backed up by best-in-class partners, communication tools, and systems—all enacted with your safety as top priority.