Our Risk Management Team uses this section for periodic updates of world events – natural disasters, political situations, disease outbreaks – that are currently affecting or could affect our programming locations and the participants that are or will be on site.
We are saddened to hear of a recent shooting in Hanau, Germany, a town outside of Frankfurt, where several people were injured and killed. Thankfully, CIS Abroad currently has no students on programs in Germany.
For several weeks, CIS Abroad’s response to the novel Coronavirus has been three-fold:
- Monitoring the spread of the virus and staying current on all U.S. State Department and CDC news
- Communicating with our current and future participants, their emergency contacts, and their home institutions about best practices and how to stay healthy before and while traveling
- Mitigating risk by ensuring that no students were or will be traveling through China at any point before or during their study abroad experience
To date, none of our programs have been cancelled. Our international university partners are monitoring local situations closely and taking all necessary measures to ensure campus communities are as protected as possible, including:
- Checking the travel history of participants
- Requiring additional health checks before arrival (South Korea)
- Delayed start of classes (one instance, students will arrive on scheduled start date)
Hear more details about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team and procedures related to concern around Coronavirus from Joe Debiec, Vice President of Program Operations, and Jessica Jones, Vice President of University Relations.
CIS Abroad is closely monitoring the fire situation in Australia. We are communicating frequently with Australian University partners and with our staff on-site. The fires have been devastating, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected. Every Spring Semester program is still proceeding as scheduled, as no university is reporting any disruption due to the fires. We were happy to hear the recent reports that the air quality in Sydney has improved since December, and we hope that this continues in the coming days.
Australia has been suffering from some devastating brushfires recently. CIS Abroad is closely monitoring the situation with our Australian University Partners and will be sharing information as soon as we receive it. To learn more about the situation, please click here.
As of now, none of our partners have canceled or postponed their programs. All CIS Abroad Spring Semester 2020 programs are currently scheduled to begin on time. We are in regular contact with our on-site staff to ensure that we are as informed as possible and will provide updates if anything changes.
In the early morning hours of December 9, 2019 an an earthquake and several after shocks hit the northern part of Tuscany, Italy. The shocks could be felt in our program location in Florence, Italy. Luckily, there are no known fatalities and the few casualties that have been reported are minor. There was some structural damage reported in several areas. No one in the CIS Abroad program community has been significantly impacted by the quakes. Our on-site staff have reached out to all students to check on their well being and to remind them of our earthquake protocol.
There was an incident this morning near the London Bridge at 2 pm local time (9 am EST). It appears an assailant stabbed 5 people before being shot by police. We have confirmed that all CIS Abroad students are safe.
Currently the New South Wales and Queensland areas of Australia are experiencing bushfires (wildfires) that have approached but not impacted CIS Abroad program sites in Sydney and Newcastle. On site staff are monitoring the situation as some areas have already been asked to evacuate. However, students on site at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, and Newcastle University, are all safe and it is not likely at this time that they will need to evacuate their premises. While CIS Abroad staff continue to watch the situation, our hearts are with those who have been displaced by the blazes. Updates will be forthcoming should the situation necessitate further action.
Protests have continued peacefully in Barcelona. There are scheduled protests for this upcoming weekend, but they are smaller than last week. All CIS Abroad participants have been reported safe and are reminded regularly to avoid areas of demonstration.