Outbound - Resources - While Abroad - Safety Abroad

While Abroad

Voila! Finally you arrived the host country, which may be a completely new country to you. While you are excited, bear in mind that there are a lot of things that you should pay attention to. It will definitely help you to create a smooth and fruitful study abroad experiences.

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Safety Abroad

During studying abroad, you will be living in a completely new environment. is a list of safety tips for you to stay safe while abroad.

Daily life tips
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  • Avoid walking in unfamiliar areas of a city alone or at night
  • Never accept rides from strangers
  • Stay in touch with the staff of your program or institution
  • Be aware of the people and circumstances around you and follow your instincts
  • Never leave your personal belongings unattended and do not transport items for someone else
  • Avoid all protests and demonstrations
  • Do not walk in areas where you cannot be easily seen
  • Keep copies of your credit cards, passport and other important documents to expedite cancellation and replacement in the event they are lost or stolen
Road safety tips
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  • Know the road culture in your destination (e.g. from which direction are cars coming from) 
  • Select the safest form of transportation and avoid carpooling with strangers. Never hitch hike.
  • Avoid late night road travel
  • Pay attention to seasonal hazards that affect road conditions (such as the rainy season on mountainous roads)
  • The attitude towards joggers and bikers on public roads may differ in other countries
  • Always wear seat belts
  • Do not drive as regulations and driving culture vary significantly between countries
Money issues
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  • Have sufficient funds to purchase a ticket home
  • Do not store your money in one place. Bring a combination of money.
  • Keep your cash out of public sight.
  • Do not give money to beggars.
Legal issues
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Laws vary between countries. Behavior which is considered legal in Hong Kong may be illegal elsewhere. You will not be excused, even if you are unaware of these laws, and problems may result if you fail to observe them. You are responsible for ensuring that you are aware of local laws and observe them accordingly. Do not assume that you will be treated more leniently because you are a foreigner. In some places, punishments for foreigners are harsher than those for the locals.

Alcohol consumption
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The minimum age for drinking alcohol varies from country to country. The customs regarding alcohol may also be different in other countries. Countries with religious prohibitions may not tolerate social drinking. Just because you are not of that religion does not mean that you are exempt from the prohibition. Most other countries accept social drinking, but public drunkenness and intoxication are generally not acceptable anywhere, culturally and/or legally. You should be aware of the laws regarding alcohol consumption in the destination country and abide by it.

Students are encouraged to use good judgment if consuming alcohol. If you plan to drink, do so in moderation. Never endanger yourself, others and your property from drinking alcohol.

Unwanted attention, harassment & assault
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Cultural norms related to gender and sexuality vary widely from place to place, which may cause misunderstandings and confusion. Behaviors considered acceptable in one culture might be very inappropriate in another.

Educate yourself about gender norms in the host country and be mindful of the ways different behaviors are interpreted in different cultural contexts. Make informed decisions about where you go, whom you interact with and what you choose to do. Take guidance from the locals on appropriate behavior.