The following message was sent to parents and families of students studying abroad in Spain, on behalf of David Taylor, Assistant Dean for Global Study Away.
Dear WFU Parents,
You are receiving this email because you have a student participating on a Wake Forest or Wake Forest-affiliated study abroad program in Spain for the fall 2017 semester.
Over the weekend, Spain’s Catalonia region (of which Barcelona is a part) held a referendum to vote on independence for the region. Though the vote was considered unauthorized by the Spanish government in Madrid, polling stations remained open in Barcelona. Clashes ensued between the national police and citizens which resulted in numerous injuries.
In response to these events, throughout the weekend Wake Forest Reynolda Campus personnel remained in contact with staff in Barcelona who provided updates and advice to students – i.e. avoid large gatherings of people, protests, and polling stations. Likewise, students have been receiving regular email notifications from red24 (WFU’s international risk management service) and the U.S. State Department.
With a general strike in Catalonia now called for on October 3rd, WFU’s partner university (UAB) and other universities in the city will be closed tomorrow. As such, students have been reminded to check their on-line portal for any assignments and to be prepared for disruptions to Barcelona’s public transportation system. Following the strike, we expect classes to resume as normal.
While these developments are significant for the people of Spain and the Catalonia region, reports we are receiving from the ground indicate that the events are not likely to impact student safety and security. In the coming days, local WFU staff and staff at the affiliate abroad programs will continue to provide information to students as necessary.
David F. Taylor
To contact the Office of Family Engagement, please visit our contact page.
One of the best ways parents/families can help their students is to let them solve their own problems. Use the Stop, Drop, and Roll method when your student contacts you with a problem. The flyer also lists contact information for serious concerns where family intervention might be appropriate.
Select slide shows from Orientation sessions are available online.