Safety Tips

Before you travel, research safety issues in the specific locations you will be visiting by consulting U.S. State Department reports on those locations, and register your trip with the State Department so that they can better assist you in case of emergencies.

In case of an emergency, please follow your program-specific emergency guidelines.

Other safety tips:

  • At all times carry a cell phone with pre-programmed emergency numbers and/or an emergency contact card with phone numbers for program leaders and local emergency resources. Research backup means of communication for areas in which cell service is unavailable.
  • Learn and follow local traffic rules and practices and to avoid dangerous modes of transportation, including mopeds and sub-standard buses. Travel accidents, whether as a pedestrian or driver/passenger, are one of the main sources of injuries and fatalities on study abroad programs. See the Department of State’s Resource for road safety overseas.
  • To reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a crime, including sexual harassment and assault, avoid areas known to have a high incidence of crime and do not walk or travel alone, especially at night.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol, which is associated with an increased risk of becoming a victim of a crime or accident.
  • Learn basic terms related to safety and emergencies in the host country language, such as “help” and “police.”
  • If you are in an area in which Americans are viewed negatively or as prime targets for crime, as much as possible dress and behave like a local.
  • Note that loss arising from participation in high-risk activities such as scuba/skin diving, skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping is not likely to be covered by insurance.
  • If you’re unsure about something, do reach out and ask your program staff. No matter what the question, it’s better answered then assumed.