Main Content

Safety FAQs & Resources

Safety issues vary by country, so it is essential that you attend all orientations (pre-departure and onsite), where you will learn important information about your location and its neighborhoods, important laws or rules of conduct, and safety guidelines. While we cannot eliminate risk, we can offer some tips and advice to minimize risks.

The most important tip of all is to use good judgment:

  • Do not take unnecessary risks.
  • Be alert and aware, be sensible, and take precautions.
  • Do not let the sense of adventure override your common sense.
  • Do not let your peers negatively influence your actions.
  • Do not let alcohol cloud your judgment.

While we cannot eliminate risk, we can offer some tips and advice: Get your bearings:

  • Carry your housing address with you until you have it memorized.
  • Be discrete about consulting maps.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people in it.
  • Avoid walking alone at night; stay along well-lit streets.

Use only licensed cabs. Keep a taxi company number or cab finder app on your phone. Stay in touch:

  • Notify program leaders / staff when travelling outside the program city.
  • Keep in contact with family, especially if there are newsworthy items in and around your host country or locations you are visiting.
  • Program important contact numbers into your phone, using proper country/area codes.
  • Update your cell phone number on if prompted.
  • Respond to requests from TCU Global to check-in.

Exercise sound judgment:

  • Don’t carry large amounts of money, & be conscientious with your belongings.
  • Don’t draw negative attention to yourself by being loud, obnoxious, or drunk.
  • Keep an eye on your friends; don’t leave friends alone at bars / nightclubs.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, use moderation.
  • Avoid protest groups and political rallies. Attendance might cause you to lose your visa.

Transportation options are different abroad and may include mass transit, walking, biking, or taxis. Regardless of your mode of transportation, consider tradeoffs between cost, safety and convenience. You can check the reliability and safety of public transportation on the U.S. State Department’s Country info pages (Select your Destination and find “Travel and Transportation”). Accidents are a concern for travelers. Be aware:

  • Traffic laws and habits differ.
  • Traffic may move in a counter direction.
  • Roads may be poorly lit or maintained.
  • Pedestrians may find themselves dodging motorcycles on sidewalks.

On Call insurance does not cover injuries caused by riding on a motorcycle, vespa, or scooter. For this reason and many additional safety reasons, we highly encourage you not to rent motor vehicles while abroad.

Petty theft, in the form pick-pocketing and scam artists, can be common, although violent crime is not prevalent. Some cautionary tips include:

  • Be alert to diversionary tactics and ploys to distract you.
  • Be careful in crowded situations, such as busy sidewalks, public transportation, or large events and markets.
  • Try to blend in with the locals, or at least minimize the “rich American tourist” look, such as not wearing American “gear” such as caps, t-shirts and sweatshirts with American logos, and tennis shoes. Lower the volume of your voice.
  • Limit the amount of valuables you have with you and be very conscientious about what you do carry.
  • Keep your wallet in a front pocket, or in a bag that you carry across your torso rather than on your back.
  • Do not ever leave your belongings unattended.

For more advice, see the U.S. State Department’s Travel Scams.

Accidents and injuries are more frequent abroad because of differences in pavement and road conditions, differences in warnings, and because of the tendency of students to feel more liberated and take more risks. It is important that you continue to use good judgment and be alert. Remember:

  • Alcohol affects balance, coordination, and judgment and can lead to accidents injuries.
  • Be aware that walkways and railings may be insecure, in disrepair, or non-existent.
  • Do not climb over railings/barriers, or onto surfaces not intended for pedestrians.
  • Do not swim alone or in unfamiliar waters. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, circumstances beyond your control (like rip currents) can kill.
  • Do not jump into unfamiliar water.
  • Do not dive in shallow water. Always enter water feet first.
  • Heed water warnings, but be aware that not all beaches post water conditions.
  • Be cautious on poorly lit, uneven, or wet flooring. Wear supportive footwear to avoid slips and falls.

On Call: 1-603-952-2062 U.S. State Department website, including Info for Students AbroadTraveler’s Checklist, and Country Information.