Studying abroad can be an exhilarating and transformative experience for a student! However, it’s critical to practice the utmost caution while travelling in an unfamiliar country and to stay aware of any potential dangers 24/7 – or your trip has the potential to go completely unplanned.
For students to stay safe while travelling and get the most out of their educational adventures abroad, they should follow several essential guidelines — and we’ve compiled them in this article for easy reference.
Top 6 Safety Tips for Students
So, without further ado, here are six critical safety tips for students studying abroad:
1. Thoroughly Research Your Destination
Before setting out on your travels, conduct thorough research of the destination, and consider factors such as the region’s specific customs, traditions, and laws. Furthermore, look up the emergency phone number for your destination before hopping on the plane (for example, this is 911 in Canada and the US).
All this crucial information can help you make the most informed decisions while travelling. It will help to reduce the risk of encountering potentially dangerous situations.
2. Stay Alert and Mindful of Your Surroundings at all Times
It would be best to remain alert and aware of your surroundings 24/7, including checking out for any suspicious activity. Moreover, you should avoid walking alone in isolated and dark areas where you’ll be more vulnerable to danger. Keep to more populated, well-lit areas, particularly in the evening.
When surrounded by busier crowds, stay alert, listen to your instincts regarding everything (and everyone) around you, and relocate should you ever feel unsafe.
3. Keep Your Valuables and Important Documents Secure
Make sure to store any valuable and necessary items, such as your passport, identification, and other vital documents, safely and securely during your travels. It is also wise to create copies of these documents to keep in separate locations, just in case they are lost or stolen.
Furthermore, try not to draw any attention to your valuables when you’re on the go, as this will put you at risk of pickpocketing. Keep your phone and wallet secure and out of reach (especially clear of easy pocket access).
4. Use Public Transportation with Caution
When taking public transportation on your travels, you should research the various transit options offered by your destination beforehand.
It’s also helpful to plan your routes ahead of time to shorten transit durations, so you can spend less time on trains and buses and more time where you need to be. Consider downloading a mobile transit app, as well, or purchase a transit pass for more convenient travel.
Moreover, be sure to keep your valuables close to you, and ideally, sit near the driver at the front of the bus for extra security when possible. If ever you feel unsafe or suspect danger, seek assistance from transit staff or move to a busier area.
5. Keep to Yourself When it Matters Most
As an international student from a different country, you should always aim to keep a low profile and avoid attracting too much attention from strangers. When it is public, if you make it too obvious that you are a student not from the region, you are letting potentially untrustworthy strangers know that you are an easier target for things like scams.
Always practice caution when sharing any personal information, and never share any specifics such as your full name, address and financial information. Moreover, never hand over your credit or debit card when in restaurants or stores.
Also, never let anyone you don’t know into your apartment or dorm, and always keep your doors and windows locked (even when you are home).
6. Keep in Touch with Close Friends and Family
Keep in regular contact with your friends and family during your trip, and keep them updated about your specific plans and whereabouts.
Additionally, if you are staying with roommates, keep in contact with them as well and notify them about where you are going. This way, in any emergency, you’ll have trustworthy people to assist you and help ensure your safety.
By following these six critical travel safety tips, students can safely and confidently travel abroad!