1. The online application system will direct you through some health-related preparations, including a health self-evaluation, an appointment with a physician, and a Travel Clinic appointment that will help prepare you for the specific health challenges of your destination(s).
2. Read carefully the U.S. State Department’s Worldwide Caution. Note the webpage for state department travel warnings and check the status of the country to which you are traveling well before you depart.
Key things to do:
3. Discuss your feelings and perspective about traveling and studying abroad at this time with your family and close friends. Remember to remain in close communication with family while you are abroad. Most fears and worries are relieved by direct communication with you.
4. Educate yourself about the country to which you are traveling. What are the safety concerns specific to that country and neighboring countries? What is the political climate of the country? How do people of that country perceive US Americans? If confronted with anti-American sentiment, try to react non-defensively and see if you can learn to appreciate other points of view about the US.
5. Now more than ever it is important for you to take responsibility for your behavior and how it can affect your safety. Please note the following basic principles:
6. Incidences of either verbal or physical attacks toward US Americans are fairly rare, yet they do occur. You can protect yourself by using your common sense and the points noted above. Keep in mind that comments directed at you are rarely personal. Try not to take them personally. Never respond belligerently, even if the person says something that seems profoundly rude. Walk away whenever possible (this goes for you, too, guys!).
7. Be assured that we have taken precautions and routinely monitor the issues and conditions involving our study abroad sites.
The U.S. State Department has developed a downloadable Smart Traveler app for iPhone/iPad. The app is a tool designed to provide easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, and US Embassy locations. For those who do not have an iPhone or iPad, the information is also available at the US State Department's travel website.