Staying Safe When Studying Abroad

Study Abroad Jul 02, 2018 No Comments

Studying abroad offers the chance to explore the world, meet new people and learn new cultures. While the opportunities are exciting, it is important to stay safe during your adventures. No country is exactly like home, but according to a recent article by, there are many ways to help ensure your safety wherever you are in the world. From Nepal to Norway and Thailand to Tunisia, here are some safety tips that can be applied to make your life safer – and happier.

Safety Tips

1) Know your city and college campus

Do your homework early, meaning learn your city and campus as soon as you can after you arrive. Use maps, have a seasoned student show you around and do your exploring during the day. Ask a lot of questions of students who’ve been around a while so you can learn the places on campus and in the city to avoid, as well as those places on campus and around town that are safest to hang out. It is always best to stay on well-traveled paths and in well-populated areas. Avoid dark alleys, unfamiliar places and those locations that others have warned you against.

2) Keep your room locked

While you may be a trusting person, it is best to ere on the side of caution. Protect yourself and your belongings by locking the doors and windows of your dorm room or apartment each time you leave. It is also ideal to have your passport and other important documents safely locked away in a small safe. Other valuables, like laptops, should be stowed in drawers or cabinets, especially if you have windows people can easily peer through. While those living around you may be of no threat to you and your belongings, there may be outsiders who are, and it is best not to take chances.

3) Be aware of the security services personnel on campus

Most universities have an on-campus 24-hour security department to help you. If you notice anything suspicious, feel threatened or even just forget your room key, security services can help give you advice, escort you across campus or call the police if something serious has happened, explained Essentially, they are your lifeline for any safety-related issue. They are trained to deal with a wide range of issues, so knowing where they are located and how to get there is a good idea.

4) Carry a rape alarm and pepper spray (if legal)

You can also take steps to prepare yourself in case something does go wrong. Carrying a rape alarm is a good idea when walking around campus alone, whether you are at risk of rape or not. Even if you feel threatened or are attacked, the loud alarm is an effective way to draw attention to the situation and make the suspect flee.

Pepper spray is a good way to defend yourself if someone is attacking you, as it bides you some time to escape – but make sure it is legal where you are studying. It is legal in most US states, but elsewhere in the world, it can be classed as illegal, according to

5) Learn to defend yourself

If you learn how to defend yourself, you will not only be more confident in general, but you will be safer. Taking self-defense classes before going abroad is a great idea. From chokeholds to flipping people much heavier than you, you can learn techniques to protect yourself from dangerous people.

Hopefully, you will never encounter a dangerous situation while studying abroad. However, it is best to be prepared: be aware of your surroundings at all times, be prepared to defend yourself, know your resources and do what you can to protect yourself in small ways every day, like by locking your door. These tips can bring some peace of mind to you and your family and allow you to enjoy your adventure as fully as possible.

Mary Anne Thompson

Mary Anne Thompson founded GoinGlobal, Inc. more than two decades ago as a result of her own experiences job hunting in Sweden. She believes that to uncover the real job opportunities, you need the experience and personal insights of trained local specialists. Mary Anne continues to be an active CEO who shares her strategies and insights directly with clients to help them strategically maximize GoinGlobal’s unique resources.

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