News & Events

Safety Archive

Earthquake in Nepal: 4/27/15

According to the USGS, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake was reported at 11:56 local time approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal.  The Department of State issued a Travel Alert and is advising all US citizens to shelter in place if they are in a safe location. The US Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal has issued a number of security messages for US citizens with updates.

The Learning Abroad Center supports one program in Nepal at this time. The Spring 2015 Ecological Services & Biodiversity in Community Forests in Sauraha, Nepal sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). All students, staff and faculty on the program are safe and accounted for. They are currently at a national park approximately 6 hours outside of Kathmandu where they have ample safe food and water. Drawing upon data from University security information services, insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Nepalese government, on-site staff and partners, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in Nepal, the program is currently sheltering in place.

Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center, CFANS and the University. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. 

More information about the situation in Nepal.

Security Situation in Kenya: 4/2/15

Al-Shabab gunmen have reportedly attacked a college in northeast Kenya early this morning. The US Embassy in Nairobi sent an Emergency Message saying it is an ongoing attack at Moi University, Garissa Campus, in Garissa, Kenya.

Garissa is in a remote part of Kenya, far from where students are placed for their internships. The University has long prohibited student travel to the northeastern province of Kenya, which includes Garissa, and students who violate the policy risk expulsion from the program. All students are safe and have been accounted for.

Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center and the University of Minnesota. Together we continue to assess the security situation, taking into account information provided by the US State Department, our insurance partners, and our onsite staff and partners. We currently do not plan to withdraw students or cancel activities in Kenya. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly.

For the most current safety information, check the US State Department website.

Security Situation in France: 1/9/15

On Wednesday, January 7, the US Embassy in Paris issued a security message to US citizens regarding the Government of France elevating the threat level for the Paris region in response to the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper, in the 11th district of Paris. The Embassy issued a second security message regarding two separate hostage situations that have been reported in Paris the afternoon of Friday, January 9 (local time).

Note that Montpellier, the location of the Learning Abroad Center main program in France, is over 450 miles from Paris on the opposite side of the country. The Learning Abroad Center programs in France continue to run without impact. Read more about this situation.

Learn more about current situation in France.

Ebola in Spain: 10/7/14

Dear students, parents, study abroad advisors,

As you may have heard, last night the Spanish authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) that an auxiliary nurse in Spain has been diagnosed with Ebola virus disease. The health care worker was treating a person who had been infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone and was medically evacuated by Spain to Madrid on 22 September 2014 where he died on 25 September. WHO reports that “Spanish authorities are conducting an intensive investigation of this case, to determine the mode of transmission and to trace those who have been in contact with the health care worker. WHO is ready to provide support to Spain, as and if required.”

The health care worker has been isolated in Madrid at the Universidad Carlos III hospital which is 24 kilometers away from the Universidad Carlos III campus where the CIEE students in Madrid are taking classes. An active tracing of all potential contacts is in process. There is no indication that any participants on CIEE Spain programs were exposed but wanted to share with you our latest assessment of the health risks and CIEE’s response.

Ebola in West Africa: 9/1/14

The Learning Abroad Center is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in partnership with our parent office, the GPS Alliance. The Learning Abroad Center has no students in or planning to travel to the countries where Ebola has been confirmed (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria).

We are in close communication with our affiliates and students in the region for summer and fall programs. Currently, all programs continue to operate normally.

Learn more about the University's response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

MSID Senegal & Ebola: 9/1/14

The Learning Abroad Center MSID Senegal program continues to run without impact. Read more about this situation.

Security Situation in Israel: 7/17/14

Learn more about current situation in Israel.

Protests in Venezuela: 2/21/14

The University of Minnesota and Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the political situation in Venezuela and possible impacts on our students in Merida. All students are safe and accounted for. We understand that demonstrations and protests have occurred in Merida and that they remain peaceful. Students have expressed concerns with public transportation in Merida, which is being effectively addressed by our onsite staff. We are in close communication with the students and onsite staff in Venezuela.

Due to the transportation concerns, and out of an abundance of caution, class was cancelled on Thursday, February 20. Classes are not normally held on Fridays. Students have been instructed to stay home this weekend and avoid the protests. Classes are expected to resume on Monday, February 24. Should transportation issues continue into Monday, private transportation will be provided for students to and from their home stay and classes.

Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center and the University. Together we continue to assess the security situation, taking into account information provided by the US State Department, our insurance partners, and our onsite staff and partners. We currently do not plan to withdraw students or cancel activities in Merida. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and ensure that the emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date. 

Travel Warning for Venezuela

On Friday, November 22 the US Department of State issued a travel warning for Venezuela. The travel warning announced strict security protocols for Caracas and the implementation of a three-zone approach for US government personnel in the city.

The Learning Abroad Center's Venezuela program is far from Caracas, and students are forbidden from traveling to the city. After consultation with our security information services, insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Overseas Advisory Counsel (OSAC), our on-site staff, and the University International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC), we have concluded that there is no reason to withdraw students from Venezuela as a result of the new travel warning. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and remain vigilant.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s emergency procedures.

Venezuela Summer Sessions Cancelled: 3/17

Due to continued disruptions resulting from ongoing protests, which limit program activities, the Learning Abroad Center has canceled both summer sessions of the Study Abroad in Venezuela program. We plan to continue with the current spring 2014 program through the end of the semester. Likewise, the Fall 2014 program will continue to be offered.

The Learning Abroad Center is working to accommodate students on alternative summer programs. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in conjunction with our partners in Venezuela.

H7N9 Influenza—China

The University of Minnesota and Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the reports of the H7N9 Influenza outbreak in China and possible impacts on our students abroad. We are in close communication with our affiliates and students in China. Currently, all programs continue to operate normally.

Please note that the US Department of State has not issued a Travel Warning or Travel Alert for China. Today, the US Embassy in Beijing released the following “Security Message for US Citizens”:

As the Chinese authorities continue to report new cases of a new strain of avian influenza (H7N9) in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui, US citizens in China are advised to stay informed with the latest medical guidance and practical information. To date, no human-to-human transmission has been reported and no link has been found between the laboratory-confirmed cases. Individuals in close contact with the infected were tested and the results have all been negative.

At this time, there is no recommendation by the US Department of State, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) to evacuate from or limit travel to/from China.

Drawing upon data from our insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Overseas Advisory Counsel (OSAC), CDC, WHO, pandemic experts at the University of Minnesota, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in the region, we currently do not plan to withdraw students or cancel activities in China. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and assure their emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date. We have also taken this opportunity to remind students to register with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if they haven’t already.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s Emergency procedures.

North Korean Threats

The University of Minnesota and its Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the North Korean threats and possible impacts on our students in South Korea, Japan, and surrounding countries. There are no University students in North Korea.

Please note that the US Department of State has not issued a Travel Warning or Travel Alert for South Korea or Japan. However, we are in close communication with our affiliates, local Korean and Japanese University partners, and students in South Korea and Japan. All programs continue to operate normally. 

North Korea issued a warning on April 9th, 2013 to foreigners in South Korea to leave, stating that it does not wish to harm foreign visitors in the event of a war on the peninsula. Despite the warning, reports indicate that the situation in Seoul is normal. Foreign embassies have not issued any statements urging their citizens to depart or to avoid travel to South Korea.

On April 4th, the US Embassy in Seoul released the following “Security Message for US Citizens”:

The US Embassy informs US citizens that despite current political tensions with North Korea there is no specific information to suggest there are imminent threats to US citizens or facilities in the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Embassy has not changed its security posture and they have not recommended that US citizens who reside in, or plan to visit, the Republic of Korea take special security precautions at this time. The US Embassy takes as its highest priority the welfare of American citizens in Korea. Should the security situation change, the Embassy will issue updated information.

The US Embassy in Tokyo has not issued a security message.

Drawing upon data from our security information services, insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Overseas Advisory Counsel (OSAC), and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in the region, we currently do not plan to withdraw students from South Korea or Japan at this time. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly in close partnership with our insurance provider.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and assure their emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s Emergency procedures.

Worldwide Travel Alert

On October 11, 2011 a World Wide Travel Alert for US citizens was issued by the US State Department.

H1N1—Taking care of yourself

In order to safeguard your health while studying abroad follow these tips.

If you do experience symptoms such as fever, headache, coughing, sore throat, congestions, diarrhea and/or vomiting notify the appropriate on-site staff person and stay home. Until 24 hours after your fever subsides, you should not attend class, go to work, or attend events where you will be in close proximity with others. Keep your cell phone charged, turned on, and close to you at all times.

Call the appropriate onsite staff immediately so that they can help you to consult with a doctor if you are ill with flu and develop any of the following symptoms:

More details on H1N1 prevention, symptoms and care are available from the UofM Emergency Preparedness website.

Health insurance

Your CISI insurance policy provides excellent coverage should you need medical care. H1N1 testing, medication and other treatments are included benefits of the plan. Contact the assistance company using the details on your CISI insurance card (call collect from outside US 01.240.330.1000; ID # is GLM N0483530A). Visit the client portal for policy information, to print a replacement card and more.

Program cancellations

At this time the Learning Abroad Center does not anticipate the need to cancel any programs due to H1N1 though we will continue to monitor the situation worldwide. If you independently decide to return home early due to concerns about H1N1, you will be subject to the Learning Abroad Center’s Cancellation Policy.

Political Unrest in Thailand

The University of Minnesota is closely monitoring the political situation in Thailand and possible impacts on our students, faculty and staff in-country. Current University activities in Thailand are continuing as normal at this time. All University 30+ travelers are safe and accounted for. The University is in close communication with the travelers and on-site staff in Thailand.

Protests in Venezuela: 2/21/14

The University of Minnesota and Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the political situation in Venezuela and possible impacts on our students in Mérida. All students are safe and accounted for. We understand that demonstrations and protests have occurred in Mérida and that they remain peaceful. Students have expressed concerns with public transportation in Mérida, which is being effectively addressed by our onsite staff. We are in close communication with the students and onsite staff in Venezuela.

Due to the transportation concerns, and out of an abundance of caution, class was cancelled on Thursday, February 20. Classes are not normally held on Fridays. Students have been instructed to stay home this weekend and avoid the protests. Classes are expected to resume on Monday, February 24. Should transportation issues continue into Monday, private transportation will be provided for students to and from their home stay and classes.

Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center and the University. Together we continue to assess the security situation, taking into account information provided by the US State Department, our insurance partners, and our onsite staff and partners. We currently do not plan to withdraw students or cancel activities in Mérida. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and ensure that the emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date. 

Travel Warning for Venezuela

On Friday, November 22 the US Department of State issued a travel warning for Venezuela. The travel warning announced strict security protocols for Caracas and the implementation of a three-zone approach for US government personnel in the city.

The Learning Abroad Center's Venezuela program is far from Caracas, and students are forbidden from traveling to the city. After consultation with our security information services, insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Overseas Advisory Counsel (OSAC), our on-site staff, and the University International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC), we have concluded that there is no reason to withdraw students from Venezuela as a result of the new travel warning. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and remain vigilant.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s emergency procedures.

Venezuela Summer Sessions Cancelled: 3/17

Due to continued disruptions resulting from ongoing protests, which limit program activities, the Learning Abroad Center has canceled both summer sessions of the Study Abroad in Venezuela program.  We plan to continue with the current spring 2014 program through the end of the semester. Likewise, the Fall 2014 program will continue to be offered.

The Learning Abroad Center is working to accommodate students on alternative summer programs. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in conjunction with our partners in Venezuela.

Kenya Update: Westgate Mall Attack: 9/13

The University of Minnesota and Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the ongoing situation at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. On Saturday, September 21 10–15 gunmen stormed the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi. Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based Islamic extremist group, claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. Though our students are safe, we are deeply saddened for all those who were affected and continue to hope that the situation is resolved quickly without further loss of life.

The Learning Abroad Center remains in close contact with our students and onsite staff. Together we continue to assess the security situation, taking into account information provided by the US State Department, our insurance partners, independent security firms and other study abroad programs. Our local Nairobi staff report that outside of the Westgate Mall area, life is beginning to return to normal. The MSID office, classroom space, and host families are far from the affected area and therefore, at this time, the program continues without change.

Students have been instructed to keep a low profile, stay away from large gatherings, and avoid places where expatriates tend to frequent. Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center and the University.

Worldwide Travel Alert & Embassy Closures: 8/2/13

August 2 the United States Department of State announced a Worldwide Travel Alert and related embassy closures.

August 5 the US DOS announced that several embassies reopened and others will remain closed through August 10. More information on embassy closures on the US DOS website.

August 6 the US DOS released a travel warning advising US citizens to defer travel to Yemen and those US citizens currently living in Yemen to depart immediately.

The University of Minnesota is carefully monitoring the situation and is in communications with the students, staff and faculty abroad. There are no students, staff or faculty in Yemen for University purposes. Learning Abroad Center students currently abroad have been advised to:

Fall Learning Abroad Center programs are moving forward as planned though the University and Learning Abroad Center will continue to monitor the situation closely and reassess as necessary. The safety and security of our students is our primary concern.

Turkey—Travel Alert: 6/5

Update on June 5th

Yesterday the US Department of State release a Travel Alert for Turkey. This alert has been shared with all students in Turkey. The University continues to closely monitor the demonstrations and has advised travelers to follow the advice of the Alert and their onsite staf

The University of Minnesota and Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the demonstrations in Turkey and possible impacts on our students abroad. We are in close communication with our affiliates and students in Turkey. Currently, all programs continue to operate normally.

Security Message from June 3rd

The US Department of State has not issued a Travel Warning or Travel Alert for Turkey. Today, the US Embassy in Ankara released the following “Security Message for US Citizens”:

US citizens traveling or residing in Turkey should be alert to the potential for violence, avoid those areas where disturbances have occurred, and avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. US citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of any demonstrations.

We will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly. In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and assure their emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date. We have also taken this opportunity to remind students to register with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if they haven’t already.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s Emergency procedures.

H7N9 Influenza—China: 4/13

The University of Minnesota and Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the reports of the H7N9 Influenza outbreak in China and possible impacts on our students abroad. We are in close communication with our affiliates and students in China. Currently, all programs continue to operate normally.

Please note that the US Department of State has not issued a Travel Warning or Travel Alert for China. Today, the US Embassy in Beijing released the following “Security Message for US Citizens”:

As the Chinese authorities continue to report new cases of a new strain of avian influenza (H7N9) in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui, US citizens in China are advised to stay informed with the latest medical guidance and practical information. To date, no human-to-human transmission has been reported and no link has been found between the laboratory-confirmed cases. Individuals in close contact with the infected were tested and the results have all been negative.

At this time, there is no recommendation by the US Department of State, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) to evacuate from or limit travel to/from China.

Drawing upon data from our insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Overseas Advisory Counsel (OSAC), CDC, WHO, pandemic experts at the University of Minnesota, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in the region, we currently do not plan to withdraw students or cancel activities in China. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and assure their emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date. We have also taken this opportunity to remind students to register with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if they haven’t already.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s Emergency procedures.

North Korean Threats: 4/13

The University of Minnesota and its Learning Abroad Center are closely monitoring the North Korean threats and possible impacts on our students in South Korea, Japan, and surrounding countries. There are no University students in North Korea.

Please note that the US Department of State has not issued a Travel Warning or Travel Alert for South Korea or Japan. However, we are in close communication with our affiliates, local Korean and Japanese University partners, and students in South Korea and Japan. All programs continue to operate normally. 

North Korea issued a warning on April 9th, 2013 to foreigners in South Korea to leave, stating that it does not wish to harm foreign visitors in the event of a war on the peninsula. Despite the warning, reports indicate that the situation in Seoul is normal. Foreign embassies have not issued any statements urging their citizens to depart or to avoid travel to South Korea.

On April 4th, the US Embassy in Seoul released the following “Security Message for US Citizens”:

The US Embassy informs US citizens that despite current political tensions with North Korea there is no specific information to suggest there are imminent threats to US citizens or facilities in the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Embassy has not changed its security posture and they have not recommended that US citizens who reside in, or plan to visit, the Republic of Korea take special security precautions at this time. The US Embassy takes as its highest priority the welfare of American citizens in Korea. Should the security situation change, the Embassy will issue updated information.

The US Embassy in Tokyo has not issued a security message.

Drawing upon data from our security information services, insurance providers, the US Department of State, the Overseas Advisory Counsel (OSAC), and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in the region, we currently do not plan to withdraw students from South Korea or Japan at this time. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and, should conditions change, we are prepared to act accordingly in close partnership with our insurance provider.

In the meantime, we have encouraged students to communicate with their families and assure their emails and phone numbers on file with the Learning Abroad Center and local staff are up to date.

Read more about the Learning Abroad Center’s Emergency procedures.

Violence in Gaza/Israel: 12/12

The US State Department recommends US citizens exercise caution and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security in light of the escalating level of violence in Gaza and southern Israel. Additional information can be found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1064.html.

All Learning Abroad Students in Israel are accounted for and safe. There are no students in Gaza. We are in regular contact with each student and continue to closely monitor the situation in partnership with our local University partners and insurance providers.

The safety and security of our students is our primary concern.

Kenya Travel Warning: 10/11

There were two incidents of grenade attacks earlier this week in Nairobi and all MSID-Kenya students are safe and accounted for. The Learning Abroad Center is in regular communication with the in-country staff who are monitoring the situation closely. These incidents follow an emergency message issued on Oct 22 by the US Embassy in Nairobi. Students are aware of the warnings, and are urged to follow the recommendations provided by the US Embassy and avoid tourist locations and other areas where foreigners are known to congregate. They are also being reminded of the program's emergency plan should the situation require it.

US State Department Issues Travel Warning to Japan: 3/11

March 17, 2011: The University of Minnesota's International Travel Risk Assessment and advisery Committee, has decided that students currently studying in Tokyo must return home. This difficult decision was made based on a number of important factors, including today's addition of Japan to the US Department of State's travel warning list, the closings of several Tokyo universities, the inconsistent electrical and transportation systems, the unknown and constantly changing radiation issues, and the inability to ensure that facilities and student housing would remain safe and free of earthquake damage. The University is working with its insurance company's emergency evacuation team to ensure that the students can leave Japan and return home safely.

The four students studying in Nagoya and Hiroshima are allowed to remain, barring any changes in the situation on the ground in those cities. 

Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan 3/11

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit  at 2.45 p.m. local time in Japan approximately 80 miles off the coast of Sendai, Japan (approximately 240 miles north of Tokyo). The earthquake has triggered a tsunami  which has caused significant damage in this region of Japan. Tsunami warnings are been issued across the pacific rim to the west coast of the US. For recent news articles, click here. Download the OSAC report for further information.

Students studying through the Learning Abroad Center have been accounted for and are safe. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Europe—Travel Alert 10/10

The US State Department issued a Travel Alert for Europe on October 3, 2010. The advisery reminds US citizens to take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.  Learning Abroad Center programs in Europe are proceeding normally, and we do not expect any disruptions.  As we continue to monitor this Travel Alert, our staff has reiterated our safety and security procedures and policies to all students.

European governments have taken action to guard against possible terrorist attacks and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions and the increased police and military presence to provide enhanced security in identified areas of possible concern.

Political Situation in Ecuador 09/10

All UofM students studying in Ecuador are accounted for and safe following the political protests on 9/30. We expect programs to resume as normal on Monday, and will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Travel Warning: Thailand 5/18/2010

New Travel Warning for Thailand. Current students abroad through the Learning Abroad Center will return from the program. All future students must apply for ITRAAC approval.

As with all Travel Warning countries, students will need to petition for approval going forward.

New Travel Warning for Mexico: March 15, 2010

New Travel Warning for Mexico. Current students abroad through the Learning Abroad Center are approved to continue their programs. Student who may be in Mexico for personal spring break travel are in the country individually and are not considered the responsibility of the University. However, the Learning Abroad Center recommends that all students in Mexico follow the advice of the Travel Warning.

As with all Travel Warning countries, students will need to petition for approval going forward.

Students in Chile Accounted For: February 22, 2010

The Learning Abroad Center has confirmed that all students studying abroad in Chile have been accounted for as of 2/22/10.

Study Abroad in Mexico Suspension Removed

The University of Minnesota has ended its suspension of university-sponsored travel to Mexico that was put in place based on CDC recommendations during the height of the outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico.

This is being done because the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention downgraded its warning against nonessential travel to Mexico because risk of severe disease from the novel H1N1 virus now appears to be less than originally thought.

While H1N1 appears to still be spreading worldwide, the illness caused by the virus is much milder than initially thought and there have been relatively few deaths.

Because of this new understanding of the virus, and the change in the CDC's advisery, it was determined that the suspension of sponsored-travel to Mexico was no longer warranted. The CDC removed its advisery against nonessential travel to Mexico on May 15 and replaced it with a health precaution encouraging travelers at high risk for complications from any form of influenza to discuss travel plans to Mexico with a health care provider.

Earthquakes in Italy: April, 2009

On April 6, the US Embassy issued a Warden Message in response to the Italian earthquakes.

The Learning Abroad Center is closely monitoring the situation in Italy. Learning Abroad Center staff have been in close contact with onsite program staff in Florence, Italy and have been assured that students are currently not in any sort of imminent danger. Students are neither studying nor housed in locations near any impacted areas. As per the embassy instructions, students are not allowed to travel to the region impacted by the earthquake but encouraged to participate in relief efforts from afar as long as these activities do not conflict with their academic program.

We will continue to monitor the situation and be in contact with our students as well as the US Embassy. We will keep our students and staff updated regularly until the situation resolves itself. We continue to communicate with our partners in Italy to assure that the UofM students studying with Arcadia CEA, BCSP and IES in Italy remain safe.

The Learning Abroad Center maintains crisis management and emergency guidelines for all programs and can quickly adapt them to respond to any situation. The safety of students is our highest priority.

Current Situation in the Middle East: April, 2009

The University of Minnesota and the Learning Abroad Center constantly monitor information relevant to the safety of students on study abroad opportunities. The University currently has no sponsored programs in Israel or Lebanon; however, there are several students in the region participating in independent academic activities. The University has been in contact with these students and continues to monitor the situation. All students report that they are safe.

For the latest security information on the conflict, go to the US State Department website.

Avian Flu Update: January, 2008

The University of Minnesota and the Learning Abroad Center considers the health and safety of students on education abroad opportunities one of its top priorities. The Learning Abroad Center is carefully monitoring all resources providing information about the Avian Flu and is in consultation with the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), other universities, and other program providers to develop a higher awareness about Avian Flu.

In the event of an outbreak of Avian Flu in any region or location where University of Minnesota students are participating in an education abroad opportunity, the Learning Abroad Center will assess the situation with:

The Learning Abroad Center maintains crisis management and emergency guidelines for all programs in place and can adapt them to respond to any situation.

More detailed plans will be forthcoming and will incorporate President Bush’s response and Governor Pawlenty’s response to a potential flu pandemic.

Public Unrest in France: January, 2006

On November 7 the State Department released a Public Announcement  alerting Americans to ongoing security concerns in France due to riots and the setting of fire to many buildings and vehicles.

The Learning Abroad Center is closely monitoring the unrest in France. LAC staff has been in close contact with onsite program staff in France and have been assured that students are currently not in any sort of imminent danger. Students are neither studying nor housed in locations near any current trouble spots. Staff are taking precautionary measures with students and have advised them to maintain a low profile, to avoid the affected neighborhoods, to be alert to news media reports for the most up-to-date information, and to exercise particular caution during evening and nighttime hours. Students have also been encouraged to avoid traveling to other cities identified as potential targets. In Paris, students on the IES program have also been given alternative airport transportation information. 

Onsite staff will continue to be in contact with local police, and the US Embassy and will keep the students and our staff updated regularly until the situation resolves itself.

The Learning Abroad Center maintains crisis management and emergency guidelines for all programs and can quickly adapt them to respond to any situation. The safety of students is our highest priority.

All Students Accounted for & Safe in London: July, 2005

The Learning Abroad Center has been in contact with the England program providers and all students have been contacted and are safe.  Students have been asked to contact their parents and/or other designated emergency contacts in the US. Telephone communication in and out of London has been difficult and email has been more readily available.

At this time, there are no plans to close programs or evacuate students who are studying in England for the summer. Students are being advised, for safety reasons, to stay in contact with their program providers and not to travel into Central London for any reason.

The Learning Abroad Center will continue to closely monitor the situation and update information as it becomes available.

Students Safe and Accounted for in Spain: March, 2004

March 11, 2004 9:15 CST -- The Learning Abroad Center is actively engaged in ensuring that all students in Spain are safe, given the recent tragic bombings that took place in Madrid this morning. The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to us. It is our primary concern.

The US embassy in Madrid believes that no Americans were among those killed in the bombing.

We have ascertained that all students on the University of Minnesota program in Toledo, the Wisconsin-Indiana-Purdue program in Madrid, and the IES, CIEE, and ISEP programs in various locations in Spain are safe.  There are currently 100 students in Spain across a number of programs offered through the University of Minnesota this spring [Toledo (66), Barcelona (8), Madrid (16), Seville (6), Alcala (2), Murcia (1), Malaga (1)].  

There are 8 additional University of Minnesota students in Spain on programs not affiliated University of Minnesota. We have emailed these students.

We will be monitoring the situation in Spain very closely with our staff as well as other program providers in Spain. Students will be warned to avoid crowded places (i.e. large department stores, train stations, etc.) until after the elections take place on Sunday, March 14.