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?

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

  1. Personal Explorations (Sec 1.1)
  2. Culture (Section 1.2 & 1.2.1)
  3. Concepts of Time (Sections 1.4.4 and 1.4.5)
  4. Perceptions of (North) Americans (Sections 1.5.2 & 1.5.3)
  5. Personal Space (Section 1.6.2)
  6. 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: Students Abroad -US Department of State: Gives information on before you go, when you’re abroad, and  learning about your destination: Students AbroadThe 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.
  7. Find out about countries. Learn as much as you can before you go:U.S. State Department Advice for Studying Abroad U.S. State Department – learn about your destination: World Factbook: World Fact book