blog posts International Safety and Security Update: Barcelona Aug 28, 2017 3:45 pmDear University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Students, We hope that you are in the final stages of preparing for your exciting study abroad program in Spain in the coming weeks. It will be a positive, life-changing experience. At the same time, you are likely aware of the senseless, tragic attack in Barcelona, Spain on August 17, 2017. We understand there may be some apprehension about traveling to Spain right now; that is a natural result of a tragic event like this. We want you to know that International Safety and Security and your Education Abroad Coordinators are here to support you during your program. The University takes your safety and security seriously, whether in Urbana-Champaign or Spain. After reviewing available information from multiple sources, including a Program Coordinator in Spain, International Safety and Security is not recommending the cancellation of travel or programs in Spain. We will continue to monitor developments in Barcelona, Spain, and Europe, using sources from the U.S. Department of State, the Spanish Government, peer institutions and program providers, as well as other U.S. safety and security organizations. While we are not aware of any travel disruptions, we expect that travel in and around Barcelona may be a little slower or disrupted for the next few days but will return to normal in time. If your travel plans are through Barcelona and become disrupted, you can contact the agency that booked your travel or the ACE Travel Assistance Program provided through the University’s International Travel and Health Insurance. (PLEASE NOTE: If you use ACE, you must pay for any changes; ACE will only help you make the new arrangements.) Attached to this e-mail you find a copy of the International Insurance card, with the contact information and policy number to contact ACE. If you ever feel unsafe or in imminent danger, immediately contact local police or program staff. You can also contact a member of the International Safety and Security team through the 24/7 International Emergency Number: +1 (217) 333-1216. This number will connect you to the University of Illinois Police Department who will connect you to a member of our International Safety and Security team. Finally, you can contact the U.S. Embassy in Madrid or the Consulate in Barcelona. U.S. Embassy in Madrid, located at Calle de Serrano, 75. The phone number is +(34) 91 587 2200. U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, located at Paseo Reina Elisenda, at +(34) 93 280 2227 from 08:30 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. The after-hours emergency number for all of Spain is +(34) 91 587 2200. You should have already registered in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you have not done so, please visit https://step.state.gov/STEP/Pages/Common/Citizenship.aspx and register. Note that even if you are not an American citizen, you can (and should) sign up for alerts. We expect that there will be elevated levels of visible police and other security forces in Barcelona and other major cities. There will likely be an increase in security checks as well. Hopefully, this additional presence will serve as a source of reassurance to you. In the event of a further incident, however unlikely, you should feel comfortable interacting with the police and take guidance from them when provided. Please remember some general advice related to safety while traveling abroad: Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places when possible. Exercise vigilance when in public places and when using mass transportation. Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency Monitor media and local event information sources and factor updated information into your travel plans and activities. Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions. Stay in touch with your family and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency. Continue to pay attention to communications from the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. For other information related to international safety and security, please visit the website for International Safety and Security at http://international.illinois.edu/resources/safety-security/index.html. The website provides additional resources for travelers and for students. Shortly after your arrival we suggest you set up a communication plan with your family to address 1) how frequently they should expect to hear from you; 2) when and how is the best way and time to connect (Skype, text, email), and 3) how to contact a friend or roommate in case they need to reach you urgently. If you travel outside of your program city, share your plans with friends and family. Your safety and security are of the utmost importance to the University of Illinois. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions or concerns.