Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

A Few Safety Precautions Before Travelling Abroad

I probably should have covered this earlier, but there are some important safety precautions to take before travelling abroad.  Always prepare for worst, and usually the result is the best.

1) Before going abroad, scan a copy of your passport and keep one on your computer, one with a friend, and one in a separate place from your original, with you while abroad.  This applies for other essential information too.

2) If you are travelling alone, always send your itinerary to someone else too.  Someone that will notice you are missing if something is to go awry.

3) Bring enough medicine, if you take anything, for the time you are abroad – sometimes meds that come frequent in your home country, may not be prescribed in your new country.  Also, if you have allergies make sure to have your epi-pen with you (if necessary) and back up Benadryl – just in case.

4) If you carry a purse, it should be small and something that goes across your body.  When walking, your purse should be able to stay in front of your body, or in a position where you can place a hand over the zipper to prevent thievery.

5) Copy down the emergency numbers for the places you are visiting and maybe write them down on an easy-access card that you can carry at all times.  You never know when something bad may happen.

6) If there is a language barrier, try to learn some of the basics.  For every country I visited, I learned how to say ‘hello, goodbye, please/you’re welcome, thank you, how much?, do you speak English?, toilets, numbers 1 – 10, how are you?, good, taxi, exit, entrance,” and a few others.  It’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the language, so I know that saying ‘hello’ in the Czech Republic is “Ahoj!”  “Ahoj matey” was the common temptation for me!

7) It’s good to dress to your style, but try not to look to tourist-y.  Leave Greek sorority and fraternity letters at home, as well as your ‘I love America/NYC/LA’ t-shirt.  Same with jewelry, if you can avoid making yourself an easy target, why wouldn’t you?

8) Get insurance.  Most insurance that may cover you in the United States, or wherever you are from, may not cover you whilst abroad.  IFSA Butler provides private insurance that also covers your time in Europe, but generally it is important to have insurance in case of natural disaster, or theft or an accident.

9) Be aware.  Follow your gut, and if you are unsure about an area you are walking in, find a lit up street, or a place with a lot of people.  Avoid walking alone in a city you are unfamiliar with at night.

10) Finally, if you are very worried, or if your parents are, and you would like the U.S. to always know where you are, try this website: https://step.state.gov/step/.  Only available for U.S. citizens, and can be helpful.  I know a few friends who used it, however, I do not need the U.S. knowing my every step, so I avoided this website.  Up to you!

Hope these tips help, and stay safe while travelling!  Bon Voyage!

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