Become familiar with your "home base" as quickly as possible. Also familiarize yourself with cities you will visit before you begin to explore. Purchase travel guides before leaving the U.S.
Most cities have their "safe" and "unsafe" neighborhoods. Find out what areas to avoid by asking at an information booth in a train station or airport. Do not take risks.
Be cautious when meeting new people. Don’t give out your address and phone number to strangers or divulge too much personal information. When you are withdrawing money from an ATM or receiving wired money, go with a friend who will help you stay alert to your surroundings.
Taxis are not safe everywhere, especially late at night. Inquire about this. In some places, women do not ride in taxis by themselves. In many cities, taxis have become so dangerous that people use a taxi calling service to get the names of reputable companies and order cabs from them. When you call a taxi, make sure that the taxi has a meter and a radio and is identified with a number or other information. Do not flag down a taxi, and do not hitchhike.
In general, avoid frequenting well-known American hangouts (restaurants, bars, consulates and embassies, etc.). Especially avoid these places if there is a terrorist threat or the U.S. has just participated in some military action. During times of international crisis, many U.S. embassies and consulates are picketed and threatened.
Do not be afraid to be assertive when confronted with unwanted situations. Do not let anyone push you into taking risks. If you feel unsafe, you probably are. Listen to your instincts.
This is a practice of extorting funds from unsuspecting family members without actual abduction. Social media sites allow would-be extortionists to extract personal information about upcoming trips, as well as names and phone numbers of prospective victims. Virtual kidnappers often wait until the victim is in a location with limited or non-existent cell phone communication. The virtual kidnapper then makes a phone call to a family member in the U.S., claiming to have abducted the student and demanding funds be transferred to a non-traceable account in exchange for the victim’s safe return. Recently, there has been an increase in calls of this type made to the grandparents of students studying abroad. The requests are usually urgent and time sensitive; for example, claiming the student will be killed within an hour if payment is not made. Because the family often has no easy way to determine the truth of the claim, payment is usually made.
If you encounter serious legal, political, health or economic problems, the U.S. embassies and/or consulates can offer limited assistance. They can, for example, provide you with a list of local attorneys and physicians; contact next of kin in the event of an emergency or serious illness; contact friends or relatives on your behalf to request funds or guidance; provide assistance during civil unrest or a natural disaster; and replace a lost or stolen passport. Please understand that they are the primary sources for information about where to obtain advice; however, embassies and consulates don't give advice.
Registering with the embassy is extremely important and should be done online before you leave the country.
Search by host country to find the address of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
MU International Center: +1 573 882 6007
MU Police Department: +1 573 882 7201
You can contact a member of the MU International Center staff 24 hours a day. Our regular hours are 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. After hours, call the International Center to be connected to the University of Missouri Police Department. The MU Police will contact an International Center staff member.
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