Safety and Security
Please remain healthy and safe while studying off-campus! The following information is meant to help you do just that. While some of the information pertains specifically to study abroad, much of it is relevant as well to domestic off-campus study.
Call your local Emergency Services.
Beloit College (24 hours): 608/363-2355
Office of International Education (M-F, 8:00-5:00) phone: 608/363-2269, fax: 608/363-2689 email: email@example.com
Health Center (weekdays) 608/363-2331
Tips for calling or emailing about an emergency:
- Identify yourself and your location
- State that you are calling about an emergency
- Provide a phone number and/or email address where you can be reached and when
- Provide information about the emergency: who, what, when, where and how
- If the emergency involves someone else, provide contact information for that person
At the study abroad site:
- Beloit College programs and exchanges: Office of International Education (M-F, 8:00-5:00) phone: 608/363-2269, fax: 608/363-2689 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- After hours and on weekends: 608/363-2355
- Universities abroad and other programs: Contact the university and/or program directly
- U.S. Embassies and Consulates: contact information: http://usembassy.state.gov/
Contacting an Embassy or the State Department in an Emergency:
Note: Consular duty personnel are available for emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at U.S. embassies, consulates, and consular agencies overseas and in Washington, D.C. If the family of an American traveler needs to reach the traveler because of an emergency at home or because family members are worried about the traveler’s welfare, the number to call is 1-888-407-4747. The State Department will relay the message to the consular officers in the country in which the traveler is thought to be, and the consular officers will try to locate the traveler, pass on urgent messages, and, consistent with the Privacy Act, report back to the inquiring family.
To contact the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in the U.S. call 1-888-407-4747 (during business hours) or 202-647-5225 (after hours).
Access codes for calls to the United States from abroad: http://www.countrycodes.com/
AT&T assist numbers to connect to English-speaking operators at no charge:
Note: The site also contains information about making phone calls abroad, including information on local telephone systems.
The main threats facing you are:
- Traffic accidents
- Alcohol-related incidents
- Petty theft
Read blogs on road safety in your host country here.
Top Ten Travel and Safety Tips for Study Abroad
- Keep your passport safe. Make a copy of your passport to use as identification when you are out on routine matters. Keep your passport in a safe place in your room and carry it only when needed. If your passport is lost or stolen, the copy will make it easier to obtain a new one.
- Make copies of travel documents, prescriptions and health insurance information. Store the copies separately from the originals in case the originals are lost. Send yourself an email copy of your itinerary so that you can access it at any time and/or create a google doc for this information.
- Be mindful about your luggage. Put identification tags on your luggage with your name and address and keep a copy of your itinerary in each bag. Carry medications and documents in your carry-on bag. Keep your luggage to a minimum to make it easier to manage and to not stand out.
- Carry emergency numbers. Carry emergency numbers with you (including the card issued by Beloit College) and keep a copy in safe place in your room. Know who to call in an emergency both in your study abroad site and at home.
- Identify resources in your new surroundings. Know where you can find a telephone, cash machine and/or exchange office, pharmacy, doctor, and hospital. Know what the local equivalent of a 911 number is. If your program provides information about this, read it and keep it handy.
- Know local environments and customs. Become familiar with your neighborhood and the people who live there. Let them get to know you; people who know each other tend to look out for each other. Behave in ways that are respectful to local people.
- Carry neither large amounts of cash with you nor valuables and if you do, know where they are at all times. Do not keep money and other valuables out in the open in your room.
- Follow events in your host country, the world, and any countries you visit. Not only will you better understand events affecting local people, but you will be better able to avoid trouble spots and cope with them if you do.
- Know local law and register your travel with the U.S. State Department. You are not immune to local laws even if you violate them unwittingly. The U.S. Embassy can only offer limited assistance in the case you are arrested or put in prison. However, if you register your study abroad and related travel with the State Department, this will make it easier for you to be contacted in case of an emergency. Register at: https://travelregistration.state.gov
- Take responsibility for your behavior. Our own behaviors tend to cause us the most trouble. Keep a low profile. Do not call attention to yourself through your dress, speech or behavior. Stay healthy, do not drink excessively, do not use illegal drugs. Keep your wits about you. Just because others may want to engage in risky or inappropriate behavior, does not mean you have to.
Adapted from various sources, including the Quarter Abroad program of University of California, Davis; the University of New Mexico State University’s study abroad office, and recommendations by HTH.
Suggestions for reducing personal risk abroad: http://www.globaled.us/peacecorps/
Links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad: http://usembassy.state.gov/
More detailed information about specific countries: http://www.state.gov/www/background_notes/index.html
Report of Medical History. Study abroad students must file this report with the Office of International Education. It is a self-disclosure form that does not require a visit with a physician.
U.S. consular sheets with information about health and safety:
Centers for Disease Control recommendations for immunizations and health and disease concerns: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/
U.S. embassy recommendations for medical care abroad: see the U.S. Citizen Services section on the relevant embassy website at: http://usembassy/state.gov/
U.S. State Department crisis/emergency Hotline for American Travelers: 202-647-5225
To study abroad you must have medical and hospitalization insurance that is valid internationally.
In addition, you must have insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation.
All students participating in programs that do not include health insurance will be automatically enrolled by the Office of International Education in an iNext insurance policy. The cost will be billed to the student's account.
Note the following:
There may be limitations on the kinds or amounts of medication you can bring into a country and customs regulations may prevent you from having medication shipped to your host country.
Make sure you are aware of the specific regulations for the country/ies to which you will be traveling, especially as over-the counter medications common in the U.S. are illegal in some countries, including Japan. Travelers attempting to enter the country with these medications in their possession are subject to arrest.
For country-specific information, see the U.S. Department of State notices: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html#j
When traveling with medications:
- carry them in the original containers
- pack them in your carry on-luggage
- carry the prescriptions with the medications
The highs and lows of adjustment to new environments and experiences often are described as culture shock. Many people also experience reverse culture shock upon return home. Both culture shock and reverse culture shock are common; indeed, most students experience them when coming to college for the first time and then returning home.
http://www.worldwide.edu/travel_planner/culture_shock.html This information on culture shock was developed by the Consortium for International Education and Multicultural Studies.
http://www.studentsabroad.com/reentrycultureshock.html Information on reverse culture chock developed by Gary Rhodes, Center for Global Education, Loyola-Marymount University.
http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0003/the_journey_home.shtml“The Journey Home: Ways to Make Re-Entry Easier”, Jan Quarles, Transitions Abroad.