The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.
Chile and Argentina
Puerto Montt, Chile
April 24, 2015
On April 22, 2015 the Calbuco volcano erupted in Puerto Montt, Chile resulting in a massive ash cloud nearly 6 miles high. The volcano is more than 600 miles south of the Valparaíso region in Chile. The Chilean government declared a red alert and evacuated thousands in affected southern regions. A second eruption took place on the morning of April 24th. No injuries have been reported thus far and those evacuated should be able to return to their homes soon. ISA programs in Chile and Argentina have been unaffected by these eruptions and all students are accounted for and safe. However, the volcano continues to spew ash into the atmosphere causing some airlines to cancel flights to and from Buenos Aires, Argentina. ISA's resident staff is monitoring local news and flight delays/cancellations in Buenos Aires for the potential impact on on ISA Spring students departing Buenos Aires this weekend. The resident staff will advise students as necessary, and will assist with alternative plans for any affected students. Some international flights from Chile's capital of Santiago have been cancelled as well though a majority remain unaffected.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
On Tuesday, April 21st, South African military were deployed in several areas of South Africa as a means of curbing the violence against African immigrants. While troops were deployed in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, there has been no increased military presence in the city of Durban, nor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as no xenophobic-related incidents have been reported within or near campus to date. The ISA Durban staff has reported that the University of KwaZulu-Natal has taken a very firm stance against all attacks directed at non-Nationals in South Africa, and the daily life of ISA students remains largely unaffected. The ISA Durban resident staff will continue to monitor the situation closely and advise ISA students accordingly.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
On Tuesday, April 14th, xenophobic attacks took place in Durban due to anti-foreigner sentiment, primarily toward African immigrants. The tension has spread throughout the region, and since then, there have been several clashes with local police, as well as looting of shops, store fronts and personal property, reportedly resulting in several dozen injuries and at least five deaths. Currently, the violence has been contained to the local townships approximately 20 miles away from where ISA students are located.
Today, April 16th, a peaceful protest with approximately 5,000 people in attendance took place in the Durban city center condemning the violence that has occurred over the last few days. ISA students were reminded that it is against the ISA Code of Conduct to participate in demonstrations or other political events of any kind. There has been no unrest or violence reported on the campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and all ISA students are accounted for and safe. The ISA Durban resident staff is closely monitoring the events, and will continue to advise students as necessary.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
On April 11th, around 11:30pm local time, a truck bomb exploded in the underground parking garage of a popular mall in Koh Samui, injuring seven people including a 12-year-old Italian girl. Reports indicate that the truck was stolen from Yala province in southern Thailand. Statements from the military government have suggested that the attacks were carried out by the same group responsible for the recent bombings in Bangkok. All ISA students are accounted for and safe. ISA resident staff in Bangkok will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
On Saturday, March 7th, two men were detained after a brief shootout with security forces following a grenade attack on a Bangkok military court, which caused minor damage to the parking lot but no injuries. After a preliminary investigation, Thai police believe that the men who carried out the attack are from the same network as those who detonated two small bombs outside of a luxury shopping mall on February 1st. As a result of the attack, there is an increase in security near government offices and tourist locations. Classes have not been affected, and the ISA resident staff will continue to make recommendations to students as necessary.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
On February 1st, shortly after 8 p.m., two small bombs were detonated in Bangkok on a walkway connecting an overhead train with Siam Paragon, a luxury shopping mall. Police are still investigating, and no groups have claimed responsibility for the improvised explosives. Early reports suggest that the explosives were not designed to be deadly. While no fatalities have been reported, at least one person was injured by the blasts. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered heightened security in public areas in the capital. All ISA students are accounted for and safe. ISA resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Friday, April 10, 2015
On Sunday, April 12th, a second round of anti-government demonstrations is scheduled to occur in major cities throughout Brazil. The driving factors behind the planned demonstrations are the same as those behind the March 13th protests. Similar to the protests held last month, Sunday's demonstrations are expected to be peaceful, though some sources are estimating larger turnouts. ISA students in Florianópolis are being advised on the areas to avoid and reminded that it is against the ISA Code of Conduct to participate in strikes, demonstrations, or other political gatherings of any kind. The ISA Florianópolis resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students as necessary.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Several cities throughout Brazil are preparing demonstrations for Sunday, March 15th to demand less corruption and better usage of tax payer money. These protests have gained huge momentum on social media and are in support of the impeachment of the current President Dilma Rousseff. The march in Florianópolis is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm UTC time and is expected to cause traffic delays and problems getting to and from the island. While these protests are expected to remain peaceful in Florianópolis, ISA students have been advised on the areas to avoid and reminded that it is against ISA Code of Conduct to participate in strikes, demonstrations, or other political gatherings of any kind. The ISA Florianópolis resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students as necessary.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
On February 3rd, the Islamic State (IS) released a video online that purportedly showed the murder of a Jordanian pilot who was captured in December 2014 by the extremist group. Jordanian citizens led anti-IS demonstrations including in the capital city of Amman in protest of the pilot's death. Additional demonstrations in Amman are anticipated in the coming days. The U.S. Embassy in Amman has advised that citizens can expect to see an increase in police and security presence in various cities in Jordan, including Amman. Students participating in ISA's Spring 2015 study abroad program will arrive in Jordan this month and are reminded that participation in any demonstrations, even those intended to be peaceful, is not permitted. The ISA Jordan resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
For over twenty-five years, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world.
ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and Thailand