Safety probably isn’t your first concern, although it may be that of your parents! However, if you’re not safe, you’ll have a hard time enjoying your experiences. Safety abroad really boils down to common sense and observing many of the same rules and precautions that you follow at home. Bear in mind that your level of safety depends on where you study abroad. Some places are safer than others – and in fact some may be safer than where you study at home. If you currently study in a rural area where you don’t have to worry much about dorm safety, walking home at night or locking your car doors when you go to the grocery store, then studying abroad in a sprawling metropolis is likely to seem less safe than when you’re at home. But safety is all a matter of perspective and where you start out from, as well as what your experiences have been. Familiarise yourself with the laws of the country you’re visiting before you leave or shortly after you arrive.
The first step in order to stay safe is to become familiar with the area in which you live and go to school or work. Ask other students, campus security staff, your programme director or the International Student Office for local safety information.
Find out which areas of your town or city are safe and unsafe during daytime and at night. Avoid dangerous areas where you could become the victim of a crime.
Avoid using shortcuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
Try not to travel alone at night.
Keep a low profile and try not to stand out as a foreigner or tourist. Observe the local standards of dress – and don’t hang a camera around your neck.
Never, ever discuss your travel plans or personal information with strangers.
Taken from the Europemobility guidebook. It is an idea of CSCS. The project aims at contributing to raise the quantity and quality of learning mobility of young people in Europe. Europemobility is the transfer of the findings and results of the MoVe-IT study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the European Commission.