UW-Madison News – January 31, 2011
Note: As of 5:30 p.m. CST today, Monday, Jan. 31, the students in Alexandria had left the airport and were en route to Prague on their way back to the United States.
In light of escalating political unrest, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has indefinitely suspended its study abroad programs in Egypt.
Six UW-Madison students had arrived in Alexandria earlier in January in preparation for the start of classes at the Arabic Language Program in Alexandria (co-sponsored by the Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University) and the Arabic language program at Alexandria University (through Middlebury School of the Middle East.)
All six are currently at the Alexandria’s El Nozha airport awaiting transportation back to the U.S. The airport is secure and guarded by the army. Flights are expected to begin today, Monday, Jan. 31.
Two other students, who had planned to leave this Wednesday for Cairo programs at Ain Shams University and Cairo University (co-sponsored by the Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University) will not depart as planned.
This weekend, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for Egypt that reads, in part:
“The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel to Egypt due to ongoing political and social unrest. On Sunday, Jan. 30, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of dependents and non-emergency employees. Violent demonstrations have occurred in several areas of Cairo, Alexandria and other parts of the country, disrupting road travel between city centers and airports.”
“Our top priority is always the safety of our students,” says Julie Lindsey, interim director of International Academic Programs (IAP). “After closely monitoring the developing situation in Egypt, we believe this is the most prudent course.”
IAP will work with students to defer their study abroad to a future semester or place them in another program for the current semester. UW-Madison will work closely with students who are interested in attending UW-Madison during spring semester to allow late course additions with professor consents.
UW-Madison recognizes that making arrangements with regard to credit, personal finances and departure will be stressful for returning students. The IAP staff will be available to assist them in making the process as smooth as possible under the circumstances.
Read External News About the Situation in Egypt.
Inside Higher Education — January 31, 2011
Study abroad programs across Egypt are scrambling to protect, feed, and evacuate their students while mass protests rock the country.
The American University in Cairo, Middlebury College, AMIDEAST, and Butler University-affiliated Institute for Study Abroad have all announced plans to evacuate their students from the country this week. No students from any of the programs have been injured. (While American University in Cairo has several hundred study abroad students, most of the student body is from Egypt and other countries, and while the university has canceled classes this week, it is hoping to soon resume normal operations, most of which are at a new campus well outside of the center of Cairo.)
The Badger Herald — January 30, 2011
As political protests in Egypt become increasingly violent, University of Wisconsin officials are bringing students currently studying abroad in Egypt home and have indefinitely suspended programs scheduled to depart for Cairo later this week.
Influenced by the uprising that ended the autocratic rule of Tunisia’s leader, much of the Egyptian public continues to riot in the streets of major cities including Cairo, Giza and Alexandria, calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Chronicle of Higher Education — January 30, 2011
Universities in Egypt were closed on Sunday and American institutions with students in the country were monitoring their safety while making arrangements to get them home, as antigovernment protests and sporadic outbreaks of violence continued in the capital and other cities. With airlines observing a 4 p.m.-to-8 a.m. curfew imposed by the Egyptian government, however, thousands of people trying to leave were stranded at the international airport here.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning on Sunday recommending that Americans not travel to Egypt, and advising those already in Egypt to remain indoors during the curfew hours, to avoid demonstrations, and to consider leaving as soon as they safely could. The U.S. government was arranging charter flights to help Americans leave.
Channel 3000 — January 29, 2011
The recent street protests in Egypt have some University of Wisconsin students speaking out.
Earlier this week, protesters took to the streets in Egypt’s capitol of Cairo, angry about the county’s widespread poverty and restrictive government. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas in the streets to contain the demonstrators.
UW-Madison student Aya Yassin said she supports the protests and has been able to talk to her grandmother, who lives in Egypt.
“All of my relatives live in Egypt so with me trying to communicate to make sure they’re okay it kind of creates that barrier,” Yassin said. “It’s really causing problems for people here because we feel their pain and we’re worried about them.”
Channel 3000 — January 29, 2011
A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor from Egypt is worried about his family in Cairo amid ongoing popular uproar.
Adel Talaat said he has been able to talk to his sisters only on their landline phones because the Egyptian government blocked cell phone and Internet connections throughout the country.