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IFE COMMUNIQUÉ: UPDATE ON PUBLIC SAFETY IN BRUSSELS
25 November, 2015

Immediate outlook:{{}}

Public transportation service in Brussels is being progressively restored to full service levels, on all modes of transportation, with some stations still closed essentially for (temporary) technical reasons.

Police and armed-service presence in public areas is the visible part of increased public safety measures enacted by Belgian authorities in the wake of a massive manhunt and police operations to thwart any acts of terrorism possibly being plotted. Details on these operations are understandably sparse as police strive to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations. Level 4 alert and the incumbent public safety measures remain in effect for the rest of this week.

Daily life and level of activity is nearly back to normal in Brussels today. IFE’s Local Director in Brussels reports today “life is back to normal here in Brussels, the metro is running again, the buses and trams as well, the restaurants are full and even the usual traffic jams are back as of old.”

IFE has decided on the basis of these developments that students may safely resume their full round of activities, while observing the basic precautions for personal safety as discussed with them by IFE staff. Barring any future events or new information requiring a change in plans, the Brussels Field Study and Internship Program will terminate as scheduled on December 18.

Outlook for semester Spring 2016:{{}}

Incoming students and their parents may have concerns about safety in Brussels. IFE leadership has been following developments closely and consulting widely since the recent tragic events in Paris and the high security alerts in Brussels. The decision has been made to operate the Brussels program in the Spring semester as usual, except for some additional guidelines for students for staying safe, and few extra procedures for certain and immediate communication with all students.

For more details on the situation in Belgium we urge students, advisors and parents to consult the IFE website (http://www.ife-edu.eu) now and in the future. IFE will continue to monitor the situation and will of course cancel the program if there is any chance that the risk level will rise beyond the minimal and tolerable point where it is now.

We will be pleased to speak by telephone with any parents who wish to do so. IFE understands that students and parents have concerns, but we also feel it is important to distinguish between real risk on one hand and one’s fears on the other hand. This is more difficult, but even more important, for those who are at a long remove from the events.

IFE will continue to communicate with you, as we have been doing already, about the evolving safety situation in Brussels. 

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