We all are well aware that studying abroad can be fun and exciting. As an international student, you should do everything you can to make the most of your time studying abroad. However, you should also be well aware of some of the dangers you might encounter when you plan to study abroad.
1. Research The Country You’re Going To:
First and foremost, you must gather as much information as you can about current travel warnings that are in place to specific countries. It is recommended that you do not travel to countries on these lists. You should also be aware that most insurance companies will void any coverage you have if you are injured or hurt in countries that are on these lists.
Moreover, it is good to get as much information about the country you are traveling to such as traditions, procedures on how to do things and much more. I’d highly recommend using Google and other reliable sources that’ll provide you with specific country information. This information will help put you in good stead for when you are there as you will have a better knowledge of customs and traditions.
Once you’re in the country, you should also take care to follow some very simple rules so that you do not bring any unwanted trouble to you.
2. Stay Alert and Trust Your Instinct:
It is always wise to be alert and aware of what is going on around you. If you are in a busy market or square, just make sure you are aware of the people and what is going on around you and if you feel uneasy or are not sure about something get out and away from the place.
At the end of the day, you should trust your instincts and if you are not happy about something move away and to an area where you feel more comfortable.
3. Keep Your Valuables Close To You:
Just like when you are home, do not flash your wallet with lots of money in it or your brand new mobile phone around. This will only draw attention to you and make you a target for pickpockets.
4. Keep a Low Profile:
As you are a foreigner in the country you are traveling to, try to keep a low profile as much as possible. That being said, this does not mean you have to hide away but try not to broadcast the fact you are a foreigner.
For instance, try not to talk too loudly in open spaces and try to dress a little more like others from your host country. This will help you integrate well and will stop unwanted attention being drawn to you.
5. Learn Your Surroundings:
Similar to gathering information about the country you will be visiting, it is also equally important to get as much information about your host town or city. This information will most likely come from your Study Abroad Office but you can also ask former students about this.
You want to learn things like what areas you should avoid, how the public transportation system works, etc…
6. Drink Wisely:
At some point, you will want to socialize and this often leads to drinking. The golden rule with drinking is to drink sensibly and among friends who you trust. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and sense of judgement which can make you very vulnerable to thieves and trouble – so the advice is drink sensibly or not at all!
7. Stay In Contact:
Probably one of the most important rules is to keep in contact with people and let somebody know where you are going. Nowadays, it is relatively cheap to have a mobile phone and this will make it easy for people to contact you, should they need to. Also, if you are sharing an apartment with someone let them know if you are going out and where- that way if anything happens someone knows where you went.
Finally, you want your study abroad experience to be fun and with little or no hassle and for most of the time it will be, but by making yourself aware of the hazards you can avoid any trouble and have a great time abroad!