Thursday, May 24, 2012

Safety Tips for Those Planning to Study Abroad

Are you planning to study abroad in the upcoming future; to live in a foreign country and attend classes for a semester or full academic year?  Are you a bit concerned about how life will be and how to stay safe when studying in a foreign city, a city to which you are not accustomed?  Concerns regarding safety among those planning to study abroad are perfectly normal, but once you become a bit more familiar with your new surroundings, you will undoubtedly become more comfortable, allowing you to fully enjoy the experience, without the anxiety that often accompanies adjusting to a new culture, language and way of life.  Until then, there are a number of steps you can take to help ensure your safety when studying and living abroad—steps we will outline in some detail below.

Safety Tips for Those Planning to Study Abroad

In most cases, ensuring your safety when studying abroad is really no different than the steps you would take at home.  The only difference is you will not understand the basic rules and cultural customs of the city or country in which you are studying—a problem that is usually compounded by an unfamiliarity of the language.  The most basic rule is to use common sense and to always be aware of your surroundings.  As a study abroad participant you must always remember you are not immune to the dangers of your host city, but if you remain vigilant at all times you can generally reduce the likelihood of becoming a target.  Good judgment is the key to enjoying life as a study abroad participant, complete with all the fun and excitement your host city has to offer.  This means following a few very basic safety rules, including:

·         Use the Buddy System.  One of the best parts of any study abroad program is the experience of exploring your host city, its attractions and nightlife.  However, when doing so it is extremely important that you partner up with at least one, or ideally several friends, including, whenever possible, another student or adult who lives in or is familiar with the city.  By never venturing out alone you can significantly reduce the potential of being harassed, annoyed or becoming a target of criminal activity.

·         Ask Questions about the City.  One of the unfortunate realities that holds true for cities around the world is that there are always certain areas or neighborhoods within that city known for their crime.  Therefore, before exploring your new surroundings with your new-found friends, check with some of the local students and ask questions regarding the areas you should avoid and the areas that are more tourist-friendly.

·         Avoid Carrying Cash.  Avoiding carrying large amounts of cash may sound like a no-brainer, but there are far too many study abroad participants who have made this mistake and paid the consequences.  Instead of cash use a more protected source of payment for purchases, such as traveler’s checks or a credit card.

·         Avoid Alcohol.  As a study abroad participant, particularly in cities renowned for their nightlife, there may be occasions in which indulging in alcohol sounds tempting.  However, you must keep in mind that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, affects your good judgment and makes it significantly more difficult to remain aware of your surroundings.  One or two drinks are okay when celebrating, but for safety’s sake avoid becoming too intoxicated.

By following these simple steps as a member of a study abroad program you’ll be able to enjoy all that your host city has to offer and stay safe in the process.

1 comment:

york said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again...

Study Abroad

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