This section is 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 onsite.
Dear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,
We are aware that President Donald Trump signed three Executive Orders this week that will affect some international students and scholars studying and working in the US. CISabroad has international students studying abroad with us but currently none are affected directly. However, our students, staff, and colleagues are concerned about what this type of action and stance means in the long-term for them, their family and/or their friends.
We at CISabroad believe that a safer and more peaceful world is made possible through international exchange, cultural awareness, diplomacy, and shared friendships and journeys that cross borders.
We are watching and listening, supporting our Muslim partners and neighbors, reaching out to our participants and applicants, and participating in international events and in NAFSA’s Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. next month.
We are committed to our vision of creating a more connected and compassionate world, one person at a time.
We are committed to sending students abroad for amazing, joyous, challenging experiences.
We are committed to challenging ourselves, as a staff, to participate in activities that bring us closer with those across the world who experience discrimination due to race, religion, or gender identity.
Explore. Learn. Embrace Diversity. Revel. Go places.
Kris Holloway and the CISabroad Team
There was a strong earthquake in Central Italy about early afternoon local time, with several after shocks ensuing. The main affected area is located between Lazio and Abruzzo regions about 110 km from Rome. All the CIS Rome and Perugia students have been contacted and they’re all safe. Our participants in Florence were not impacted. At the moment schools, public offices and some hospitals have been evacuated in Rome but there are no significant damages to buildings and It seems there are no victims – at least in Rome. The metro in Rome has been closed about 50 minutes ago and the public transportation system in general is having problems. The phone lines and Internet are having issues in all Central Italy and there is no electricity in most province of L’Aquila (Abruzzo region).
A situation involving a large truck driving through crowds at a Christmas fair in Berlin, Germany is currently unfolding. We are monitoring the situation and will update this site as we learn more about this incident.
Update: The incident is still under investigation, however, all participants on our Germany program have already finished their programs and departed for home. Our thoughts are with those affected in Germany and beyond.
At approximately 2:00 am local time, an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude struck on the coast of Ecuador, about 20 km from Esmeraldas. Our onsite staff reports that everyone onsite in Quito are fine, but there were damages in some coastal cities, specially in Atacames and Tonsupa (beaches of the Esmeraldas province). Our thoughts are with the people of the affected areas.
Hurricane Otto hit northern Costa Rica last Thursday/Friday, killing at least 9 individuals and causing an estimated 8 million dollars in damages to roadways as of Thursday evening. The president declared three days of mourning starting today.
Our partner university cancelled some courses on Thursday morning, however, as the damage was contained to the north part of the country, courses resumed on Thursday afternoon; even the Thanksgiving dinner went off as planned. All of our students are safe and well, but our thoughts and prayers are wth the people of the northern communities of Costa Rica as they begin to rebuild.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island, near Hanmer Springs at 12.02 am local time. Civil Defence has downgraded the tsunami warning to a marine and beach threat for the East Coast of New Zealand, from East Cape to Southland, and also the Kapiti Coast and Tasman Bay/Marlborough Sounds. All CISabroad participants currently in New Zealand have been reported safe by our onsite staff. Our thoughts are with the people of the affected areas at this time.
Today the Thai government announced the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. There is now an official period of mourning of one year from 14 October 2016. Our participants have been informed the great importance of respecting the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people at this time; to refrain from speaking negatively about the late King and royal family, and that they should behave respectfully when in public areas; if possible, wearing sombre and respectful clothing when in public; and follow the advice of the local authorities. We are monitoring the situation and will update this page as appropriate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Thailand.
This morning CISabroad was made aware of several explosions from small bombs in Southern Thailand. At the moment authorities are uncertain of the motive behind the event, and no one has come forward yet to say they were responsible for the attacks.
The location of two of the bombings took place in the city of Hua Hin, approximately 200 kilometers (124.5 miles) and 2.5 hours away from Salaya, Thailand where Mahidol University International College is located and our students study and live on our semester programs. The area of Salaya, northwest of Bangkok, is a quiet area outside of the capital that has seen close to zero political protests or other activity related to the current political unrest in the country.
Currently there are no CISabroad participants on sponsored programs in Thailand. The CISabroad Fall Semester in Thailand program, scheduled to begin on September 3rd, is still planned to run with our normal health and safety practices and procedures in place. We take the health, safety and security of our participants very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation.
We are committed to providing our participants with safe, enriching programming abroad. Our Semester in Thailand program remains one of our most popular destinations for students, and despite the recent tragedies we are confident in our upcoming delivery of this program for the Fall. Our hearts go out to the victims and families affected by these tragedies.
In light of recent, horrific events around the Globe, although we cannot prevent them from happening, nor even predict them, CISabroad continues to advocate for international travel through an academic and professional lens along with having specialized team members on the ground, and of course a solid risk mitigation, and emergency response plan.
By dispelling the invisible veils that separate us through compassion, exposure, and understanding we move closer toward a more peaceful world. If not ironically enough, the DOJ recognized education abroad collaborative Forum recently came out with a recent study about the differences in safety when going abroad. Please look for updates on our Facebook, our website, or give us a call if you would like to touch bases.
News emerging from Germany report of a shooting at a shopping center in Munich. We are saddened to hear of yet another incident where civilians are targeted and our thoughts are with the families of the victims, and those injured. Thankfully, CISabroad currently has no students on programs in Germany.