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.
There was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Japan today. It hit the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe) and over 300 people were injured and at least 3 people were killed. Every member of the CISabroad community in Japan is safe and accounted for.
CISabroad confirmed the safety of all participants in Paris immediately after the knife attack that occurred over the weekend. All participants are safe, although we are continuing to monitor and review the situation.
The CISabroad Risk Management Team is aware of the vehicle striking civilians incident that occurred in Muenster, Germany earlier today. We are monitoring the situation and checking in with our students in Germany to confirm their well-being.
CISabroad is aware of the unfolding hostage situation in Trebes, France. We are monitoring the situation carefully and working with onsite staff to make sure our students know to avoid this region of France and to ensure their well-being.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the victims and their families.
In the news recently are reports that the Western Cape of South Africa is experiencing a severe drought due to poor rainfall during the 2016 and 2017 winter seasons. Over the past two years, CISabroad has been closely monitoring this situation with our overseas partners and onsite staff. We recognize the severity of the situation and are committed to ensuring that our students have access to clean drinking water and that they understand the situation through the additional resources and mandated conservation measures outlined below.
Due to the low dam and reservoir levels, the city of Cape Town and surrounding areas have implemented strict water restrictions. As of February 1st, each person is required to use no more than 50 litres (approximately 13 gallons) per person per day in total. Through these diligent water conservation practices and the government’s efforts to improve management of the declining dam levels, as of March 7th the Western Cape announced that Day Zero (the hypothetical day in which South Africans will need to queue for water at approximately 200 sites across the peninsula) has been pushed back to 2019! For more information about water restrictions and frequent updates regarding the water shortage, please see the government’s websites here:
As students prepare for their study abroad programs in South Africa, we find it important that everyone be aware of the water shortage and that we do our best to use as little water as possible during time onsite. This includes being conscious of water use while taking showers, washing dishing, doing laundry, and much more. We also advise that students purchase bottled water for drinking and brushing their teeth. Students will have the opportunity to do this during the initial onsite orientation.
While we recognize that saving water has been a key component of understanding life in South Africa for over two years, we also recognize that students may have some concerns regarding the water levels during your time abroad. At this time, CISabroad would like to assure everyone that we are working closely with our overseas partners and onsite staff to monitor the situation. We are keeping watch on the US Department of State’s Travel Advisories for South Africa. Additionally, experts at Stellenbosch University have implemented campus-wide water awareness and water saving measures and are working towards reducing the university’s water footprint. You can read more about the water saving initiatives and Drought Response Plan at Stellenbosch University here: https://www.sun.ac.za/english/water-crisis
According to Reuters, a 6.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Costa Rica near the capital, San Jose, on Sunday night. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered 44 miles (71 km) southwest of San Jose at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km). We are actively confirming the safety of all CISabroad students studying with us.
Our onsite staff, as always, are working to ensure the general well-being of our participants, and reminding them of our emergency protocol and the importance of being vigilant and carrying their phones, and emergency numbers with them at all times.
CISabroad continues to monitor the situation in Barcelona carefully. We have a large community of staff who live in Barcelona with their families, many of whom are from the Catalonia area. Therefore, we are sensitive to the issues being discussed, and the events that have occurred over the past few weeks.
The ongoing situation will be monitored closely, so we can act in the best interest of our students should action be necessary. Thus far, things have been peaceful, and we sincerely hope the steps that are being talked about result in dialogue, peace, and understanding across political lines. At this time, the US State Department has issued no travel warnings or alerts, as things are progressing peacefully.
Our onsite staff, as always, are working to ensure the general well-being of our participants, and reminding them of our emergency protocol and the importance of being vigilant about carrying their phones, and emergency numbers with them at all times. If your student would like to talk in more detail about the ongoing situation onsite, please encourage them to set up a specific time and to speak with our onsite staff. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We can confirm the safety and well being of all participants onsite in Barcelona.
We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds over the next several weeks, and will update this page as necessary.
We are following the events of Catalonia’s Independence vote which turned violent over the weekend. We are currently in communication with all onsite staff in Europe to ensure the safety and general well-being of all of our participants in Europe, as well as any other participants traveling in the area.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.