About Us: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University
Earthquake in Mexico

September 8, 2017

Mexico experienced an 8.1 magnitude earthquake today, situated approximately 20 miles off the coast of Chiapas State and approximately 300 miles southwest of our program location in Mérida. All IFSA-Butler students on both our Mexico and Cuba programs are safe and accounted for in Mérida, where our resident director reported feeling no tremors.

The earthquake occurred just after 12 a.m. local time and a series of aftershocks ranging from 4.1 to 5.7 magnitude followed in the Gulf of Tehuantepo, off of Chiapas State. Tsunami warnings are in effect along the Pacific coasts of Mexico, and Central and South America with the possibility of tsunami waves ranging from up to 12 feet (in Mexico) to 1-3 feet in Costa Rica and Ecuador. 

IFSA-Butler Response to Hurricane Irma

September 6, 2017

Due to the size, intensity and projected path of Hurricane Irma, IFSA-Butler determined to temporarily evacuate our Universidad de La Habana fall 2017 program. Students will travel with Cuba staff to Mérida, Mexico on Thursday, September 7. As long as conditions are safe in Havana, students are expected to return to continue the program on September 12.

The immediate safety and security of our students and staff are our top priority. The U.S. Embassy’s Travel Warning helped guide this decision, as well. We do not expect long-term program disruptions from Hurricane Irma, but we will continue to monitor the storm in the upcoming days.

Although classes are scheduled to begin next week, our students will be given flexibility to make up any missed coursework. Our academic coordinator at the Universidad de La Habana will work with each student to ensure their academic needs are met upon return to Cuba.

Our Mérida Resident Director will provide a brief orientation for students upon arrival, including safety and security information specific to the city. During their stay in Mexico, students will be encouraged to participate in Mérida’s cultural activities and have the opportunity to compare and contrast their Cuban host culture with their experience in Mexico.

Barcelona Attacks

Thursday, August 17, 2017

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens have been injured in a van attack in Barcelona. Authorities have closed public transportation to Las Ramblas, a popular tourist section of Barcelona where the attack took place, and asked the public to avoid the area.

IFSA-Butler's Engage Barcelona program does not begin until early September. In addition, our summer programs have ended and only one fall semester program has begun, so we are confident that we have no students visiting Barcelona at this time. We will be sure to discuss this situation with our incoming Barcelona fall students and to address any concerns about safety before departure and once they arrive.

For more information, please see the following news outlets:

Tropical Storm Warning in Mexico

The Government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Warning due to Tropical Storm Franklin. The storm is expected to strengthen and move to the Yucatán peninsula this evening, Monday, August 7. Franklin may produce total rainfall of three to six inches, with isolated amounts of around 12 inches through Wednesday, and winds are predicted to reach a maximum of 35 mph.

Fall semester students are scheduled to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday, so we have been communicating with students and their parents about the storm status and what to do in the event of flight delays or cancellations. Our resident staff in Mexico will work to help students catch up with orientation information if they miss any part of the meetings due to flight delays.

We will continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Franklin and provide our students, parents and advisors relevant updates as needed.

Flooding in Dunedin

July 21, 2017

A state of emergency has been declared in Dunedin due to severe weather. Heavy winds and rains have caused flooding in the region, and the rain is expected to continue throughout the night. All IFSA-Butler students have reported being safe, and The University of Otago campus and surrounding area in North Dunedin are not at risk of flooding at this time.     

IFSA-Butler resident staff spend considerable time talking about safety and security with students during the mandatory orientation at the beginning of the program, as well as throughout the semester.  Students are given an emergency phone number for our staff and our  assistance provider in the event of a true emergency.

We will continue to closely monitor security events in Dunedin and provide relevant updates as needed.      

For more information, please see the following media outlets: 

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