General Safety Tips
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home.
- Keep a copy of your passport number and identification in an accessible and secure place in case your passport is taken.
- As students and tourists, you are always a target for crime.
- While traveling, do not call attention to yourself by acting or dressing like an American.
- Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
- Never attempt to exchange money illegally.
- Do not hitchhike.
- While traveling you may become extremely tired. You then become an easy target while sleeping in buses, trains, etc.
- For males, you may want to keep your wallet in a different location than in your back pocket.
- Show extreme caution when accepting an invitation to go to a local pub.
- Be especially cautious in or avoid areas where you are likely to be victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and marginal areas of cities.
- Don't use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly-lit streets. Try not to travel alone at night. Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
- Avoid scam artists. Beware of strangers who approach you, offering bargains or to be your guide. Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will:
- jostle you
- ask you for directions or the time
- point to something spilled on your clothing
- or distracts you by creating a disturbance
- a child or even a woman carrying a baby can be a pickpocket. Beware of groups of vagrant children who create a distraction while picking your pocket.
- Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse snatchers.
- Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. When possible, ask directions only from individuals in authority.
- Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.
- If you are in a country where English is not the main language, learn a few phrases in the local language so you can signal your need for help, the police, or a doctor. Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your roommate, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- If you are confronted, don't fight back. Give up your valuables. Your money and passport can be replaced, but you cannot.
Additional safety information can be found on the Center for Global Education website.