FOLLOW THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE DESTINATION COUNTRY
* Americans are subject to the laws of the country in which they are visiting or studying. The Embassy cannot get you out of jail, but can only advise you, assist in legal translation, and provide a list of local attorneys.
* Penalties for drug violations, including what are considered “small” or “recreational” amounts are severe in many countries and are strictly enforced.
* Learn the location of the US Embassy/Consulate, hospitals, and the nearest local law enforcement office.
* Deal only with authorized agents when exchanging money, buying airline tickets, or purchasing souvenirs.
* Eat carefully while abroad, especially in developing countries.
* Avoid eating foods from street vendors.
* Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and raw seafood.
* Fresh fruits and raw vegetables, especially those that are new to you, may upset your system.
* Drink commercially bottled water or carbonated beverages.
* Avoid ice.
* Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
* Locate local health care facilities and learn how to access them.
* If of legal drinking age, consume alcoholic beverages in moderation. In most serious accidents and deaths involving overseas students, excessive alcohol consumption plays a role.
* Use the World Health Organization as an additional resource: www.who.int/en/
* As part of your on-site orientation, we expect that you will be given a list of local contact numbers for agencies and organizations that deal with crisis issues such as assault, rape, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, depression, etc. If you need help in one of these areas while you are abroad, we suggest that you seek it out. In addition, we urge you to talk with the Resident Director or a staff member of the program with whom you feel comfortable.
* Stay informed of local and international events through newspapers, television, and radio.
* Avoid demonstrations and other situations that may become unruly or where anti-American sentiments may be expressed.
* Do not carry excessive amounts of cash or unnecessary credit cards.
* Avoid using illegal drugs and/or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol as this can result in higher risk behavior.
* Be aware of your surroundings and the people with whom you have contact.
* Be cautious about giving out your contact information to new acquaintances.
* Learn which town, city or rural areas should be avoided.
* Don’t dress or behave in a way that will easily identify you as a tourist or an American.
* Avoid traveling or going out alone. If you do, use extra caution.
* Remember, public transportation is the way the great majority of local residents get around their towns and countries, so it should be part of your experience as well. For that reason (and for reasons of economy) we strongly discourage students from renting automobiles or other motorized vehicles while abroad.
* Be aware of unfamiliar traffic patterns! For instance, in some countries (England, for example), cars, buses and trucks drive on the LEFT side of the road. If you are crossing the street on foot, you must look to your RIGHT in order to see what traffic is coming.
* Have sufficient funds on hand (through cash or credit cards) for an emergency.
* Purchase traveler’s insurance. Many study abroad programs affiliated with New England College will have health and accident insurance you will be able to purchase.
* Maintain regular contact with your family and your home university so they are assured of your safety.
* Use the U.S. Department of State as an additional resource: www.travel.state.gov
* Long-distance calls can be extremely expensive for both the student and the student’s family. It is recommended that the student purchase a calling card before going overseas.
* It is suggested that parents enroll in a long-distance plan with a long-distance carrier to save money. Check with your area phone service providers to see which might be best.
* To receive calls from the U.S., make sure that people who might call you have the correct country and city code for your location. All international calls start with 011 followed by a country code (ex. 52 for Mexico, 44 for United Kingdom).
* Some students find purchasing a cell phone extremely helpful. Typically, cell phones in other countries are pay-as-you-go (requiring no plans) and are much cheaper to purchase. Students and families may find this a wise investment while the student is abroad.
* Many countries also have internet cafes, allowing students to maintain frequent email contact with family and friends. These are typically open late, if not 24 hours, and are fairly inexpensive.
* If traveling outside of your host country, ALWAYS inform your family.
* ALWAYS carry your official passport with you, leaving a copy of this in your host country.
* Check the travel advisory/warning list on the State Department Web site (www.travel.state.gov) regarding the countries you are considering traveling to.
* Check www.cdc.gov/travel for any health related issues concerning the countries you may be traveling to.
* If possible, travel with a friend. There is “safety in numbers.”