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.
August 14th, 2018
On August 14th, at approximately 7:30 a.m. (local time), a vehicular attack occurred near the Palace of Westminster in London. A motorist drove into cyclists and pedestrians causing injuries before crashing into a security barrier. The motorist was quickly apprehended by authorities. Although the police are responding to the incident as a possible terrorist attack, it is believed to be an isolated incident. Police are in the process of removing security cordons of the area and the Westminster Station of the London Underground has been reopened. The ISA London resident staff have been in contact with all ISA students in London and advised them to avoid the area. All ISA London students have been accounted for and ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students as necessary.
August 6th, 2018
Nelson Mandela University (NMU) suspended all activities today in response to non-violent student protests following an alleged sexual assault on campus. In a statement released by the university, NMU management is seeking to actively engage protesting students on issues related to gender-based violence and work with students and staff alike towards a zero-tolerance culture on campus.
ISA Port Elizabeth resident staff promptly notified ISA students attending NMU of the suspended activities and confirmed that ISA students were not on campus when the protests occurred. The students have been reminded to avoid any protests or demonstrations on campus. While classes and activities are cancelled for the day, professors are expected to communicate directly with students regarding any missed materials. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly. Students should continue to check their email for updates from ISA and their professors.
The University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape were unaffected by the protests.
August 1, 2018
On July 31st, two passenger trains collided near Machu Picchu, approximately 45 miles from Cusco. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash, which resulted in injuries to passengers including several tourists. As of August 1st, all rail services returned to their normal schedule. The US Embassy in Lima reported that no US citizens were injured in the accident. The ISA Cusco excursion to Machu Picchu took place earlier this summer and the accident did not impact current ISA summer programs. The ISA resident staff in Cusco reached out to students to inform them of the accident and encourage them to let their families know they are safe. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to students as necessary.
July 24th, 2018
On July 23rd, a state of emergency was declared in the Attica region of Greece as a result of spreading wildfires. The fatal wildfires have mainly affected the Geraneia and Penteli mountains, located approximately 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens. Greek emergency services have been mobilized to battle the fires and are being supported by other European Union countries. The ISA Athens resident staff have informed all students about the situation and advised them to avoid affected areas, watch local news for updates, follow the directives of local authorities and to check in with the families back home. ISA student accommodations are not near areas impacted by the fires and the American College of Greece reports they do not anticipate changes to the academic schedule. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
July 17th, 2018
The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) has reached an agreement with its student body, resulting in the discontinuation of the student strike. PUCV students belonging to all departments, with the exception of Mechanical Engineering and Philosophy, are attending their classes regularly and working to complete their spring semester. All ISA spring students enrolled in courses with locals were able to complete these courses before their program ended on July 7th.
The PUCV is making adjustments to their academic calendar and anticipates that courses with locals for the fall semester will begin in mid-August ISA fall students planning to take courses with locals have been advised that these courses could be impacted or delayed as result of the strike. At this time, ISA is optimistic that students will be able to enroll in and complete these courses as planned. As a reminder, all courses offered through the PUCV's Program for International Students and the Universidad Adolfo Ibanez have been unaffected and have continued as normal. ISA staff will continue to monitor the student movement and provide guidance to students during the onsite orientation and course registration process.
June 8th, 2018
Chilean students at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) remain on strike. ISA spring program dates have not been modified as a result of the strike, and we expect that all spring students will be able to successfully complete their programs as scheduled. PUCV administration has advised professors to work independently with international students in their courses with locals to allow them to complete any remaining coursework before their scheduled program end date.
ISA summer programs at the PUCV and semester programs at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez continue to be unaffected by the student movement. ISA staff will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to current and future ISA Chile students as needed.
May 17th, 2018
The Confederation of Chilean Students (CONFECH) is pursuing sanctions and increased prevention protocol for sexual harassment, assault, and gender-based discrimination at the university level, and in support of its position, has called for an indefinite nationwide strike by university students. Students attending universities that fall under the Consejo de Rectores of Chilean Universities, which includes the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), will vote either in favor or against a student strike on their own campus. As of May 17th, students at the PUCV voted to join the proposed strike.
At this time, all courses offered to ISA students through PUCV's Program for International Students are scheduled to be held as usual and the university does not expect these classes to be interrupted. Courses offered with local Chilean students have been discontinued as a result of the strike. Students directly affected are working with their respective professors to receive instructions on how to complete necessary coursework. At this time, the academic calendar has not been changed, and students are expected to complete all coursework prior to the scheduled end of their program. The Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez is not a member of the Consejo de Rectores of Chilean Universities and thus, remains unaffected by the student movement.
The PUCV and ISA staff have been in close communication with students to inform them of any developments regarding the student movement, including course changes and suspensions. Yesterday, demonstrations associated with the movement took place, with the largest occurring in Santiago. ISA has reminded students to avoid any demonstrations and will make them aware of any planned protests in Valparaiso. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to students accordingly.
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