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Safety guidelines

Become familiar with your program location as quickly as possible. Also familiarize yourself with cities you will visit before you begin to explore them. You should review the country specific information for any country you will be visiting on the Department of State website. You may want to purchase travel guides before leaving the U.S.; they may be more expensive or unavailable in your host country.

Cities in other countries, just like American cities, have their safe and less safe neighborhoods. You can find out what areas to avoid by asking at an information booth in a train station or airport when you arrive, or by asking your on-site primary contact person. Use your common sense and do not take risks.

Safety precautions

  • Keep a low profile. Do not attract attention to yourself by speaking English loudly in public spaces, wearing expensive-looking jewelry or behaving in ways that might identify you as a potential target for criminals or terrorists.
  • Avoid crowds, protest groups and other potentially volatile situations, as well as places where Americans are known to congregate.
  • Be wary of receiving unexpected packages, and stay clear of unattended luggage or parcels in public areas.
  • Report to the responsible authority any suspicious persons loitering around residential or instructional facilities. Keep your residence area locked, and use common sense when divulging information about your program or fellow students.
  • Register online with the U.S. Department of State's secure travel registry, or make arrangements to register upon arrival at the U.S. consulate or embassy.
  • Make sure the resident director, host family or foreign university official always knows where and how to contact you in an emergency and knows your schedule and travel itinerary.
  • Develop a plan with your family for regular communication.
  • Check travel advisories for any country you visit.

Additional information about staying safe abroad can be found in the MU Study Abroad Orientation Handbook.