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
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