Stay Safe While Studying Abroad
A new environment can be an exciting, eye-opening experience, but it also comes with some risks. The good news is that students can mitigate these risks with a little advance planning and some street smarts. Before the trip, ask your student if they’re up to date on their vaccinations and have a plan for navigating foreign medical care. It’s also a good idea for them to look into advisories from the US Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pertaining to the place they’ll be visiting, as well as surrounding areas and countries. These may include things such as a disease outbreak or political turmoil.
Make sure your student knows what to do if they’re ever robbed, lost or injured while Study Aboard Tips. They should have copies of their passport, driver’s license and student ID stored in a safe place or on file with a trusted friend. Keeping these copies off-site can help them recover them more quickly should something happen to their originals.
It’s also important for your student to try to blend in with the local culture, as it makes them a less obvious target for pickpockets and thieves. They can do this by dressing in the local fashion, not speaking too loudly and by learning to say a few words in the native language.
How to Stay Safe While Studying Abroad
They should also avoid carrying a lot of valuables, as this can increase their risk for theft. If they need to carry a purse or wallet, it’s best to use a front pocket rather than one that opens at the back. Lastly, they should be careful when shopping and visiting tourist sites, as these places are often targeted by thieves looking for easy targets.
Traffic related accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for study abroad students, so be sure your student is aware of driving laws in their host country, especially if they’re renting a car. They should also know where the closest hospital, doctor and pharmacy are located as well as any natural disaster risks associated with their destination.
Encourage your student to get a cell phone that works internationally, so they can be easily reached if needed. They should put the number of their study abroad program and the embassy in their phone along with the local emergency contact information. You might even want to recommend they follow the embassy on Facebook and Twitter so they’re informed about what’s going on in their home country while they’re away.
Studying abroad is an exciting and transformative experience that opens doors to new cultures, perspectives, and opportunities. Whether you’re embarking on a semester-long exchange program or pursuing a full degree overseas, studying abroad can be both thrilling and challenging. To make the most of your time abroad, it’s essential to prepare adequately and embrace the adventure ahead. Here are some invaluable tips to help you navigate and thrive during your study abroad journey.
Taking these safety precautions can help your student have a safe, fulfilling study abroad adventure! Kimberly Yavorski is a freelance writer who writes about parenting, education and travel. Her work has appeared in Grown & Flown, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Her View From Home, Racked and Pacific Standard. She lives in Seattle with her husband and four children. For more about her writing, visit her website. She is also on Instagram @kimberlyyavorski.