“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” . . . . Mark Twain
Be prepared for delays and unforeseen situations. Preparedness can include:
- Take care of personal health
- Pack enough medication for several days beyond the duration of the trip
- Take appropriate over-the counter remedies for common discomforts or minor first aid
- Have a personal emergency response plan
Ride sharing (including taxis) can present threats. Consider the following safety strategies.
- Use hotel provided car services; they tend to screen service providers
- If the front passenger seat is not moved all the way forward, consider another vehicle; you don’t want a nefarious accomplice pinning you in with the seat
- Check the photo of the driver and their vehicle license plate against that which appears on the permit displayed in the vehicle
- Before you put anything in the trunk on prearranged service, ask the driver who they are there to pick up if they don’t address you by name
- For all ride sharing consider texting a trusted individual to act as your “arrive safe” ally
- Don’t be hesitant to use 911, or the equivalent number outside the US, if the driver is driving erratically or being abusive
Accommodations can present their own personal safety challenges.
- When practical, choose locations where others have stayed. For all other locations, whether hotel or Airbnb, choose facilities with plenty of reviews; it is hard to fake hundreds of reviews
- Locate the facility on a mapping app before you depart and download an offline copy to avoid international data charges when you need directions
- Use security info from your international travel assistance provider, and supplement it with information from Travel.State.Gov
- Smaller hotels typically have a “security advantage” since it is easier to secure a smaller space
- Floors with no direct access to the windows from the exterior offer an additional level of protection
Survival Kit for Overseas Living by Robert Kohls
You can find this book at most bookstores. Try finding books online too. You can find used inexpensive copies.
What”s Up with Culture? http://www.pacific.edu/sis/culture
This website is an on-line cultural training resource for study abroad. Feel free to explore this site. It contains numerous interactive self-evaluation exercises to assist in your self-reflection.
Pay special attention to the following sections on this website:
Module 1: What to Know Before You Go
- Personal Explorations (Sec 1.1)
- Culture (Section 1.2 & 1.2.1)
- Concepts of Time (Sections 1.4.4 and 1.4.5)
- Perceptions of (North) Americans (Sections 1.5.2 & 1.5.3)
- Personal Space (Section 1.6.2)
- Communication Differences (Section 1.6.3) Study Abroad Student Handbook: This guide provides valuable information to guide you from the time you think of studying abroad until you return home: http://www.studentsabroad.com. Students Abroad -US Department of State: Gives information on before you go, when you’re abroad, and learning about your destination: Students Abroad. The IIEPassport Student Guide: This site is based on frequently asked questions on studying abroad, everything from staying healthy to managing money and creating a budget: Student Guide.
- Find out about countries. Learn as much as you can before you go:U.S. State Department Advice for Studying Abroad http://travel.state.gov/travel/living/studying/studying_1238.html U.S. State Department – learn about your destination:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.htmlCIA World Factbook: World Fact book
What Statistics say about Study Abroad Students:
Take a look at UC Merced’s study abroad statistics!
Take a look at Generation Abroad 2016 Fact Sheet