Staying Safe Abroad

Staying safe in a foreign country is much like staying safe in a large U.S. city. You should understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant. Rather than focusing on rare events that you cannot predict or control (such as terrorist attacks), focus on common events that you have some control over (theft, pedestrian safety, and getting lost). Be proactive about your safety by becoming familiar with your host country, learning the language, and making local friends.

Safety Fundamentals

  • Use your common sense to assess a situation. Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, uncomfortable, or strange, leave as quickly as possible.
  • Use the buddy system. In particular, avoid walking alone at night.
  • Use moderation when drinking. Don't accept drinks that you don't see prepared. Avoid drugs entirely.
  • Don't allow your sense of adventure to make you feel invincible.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and keep your wallet in a place that won't be easily accessible to potential thieves.
  • Keep your program director and/or host family informed about your travel plans.
  • Avoid driving motorized vehicles of any kind.
  • Keep informed about political situations. Read local newspapers and/or websites and watch the local news. Check current State Department advisories and warnings.
  • Avoid crowds, protest groups or other potentially volatile situations. If there should be any political unrest do not get involved.
  • Develop with your family a plan for regular telephone or e-mail contact, so that in times of heightened political tension, you will be able to communicate directly about your safety and wellbeing.

University of Nebraska Travel Warning Policy

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as a part of the University of Nebraska system, adheres to the Travel Warning policy outlined in the President's Executive Memorandum No. 25. "No university sponsored program of travel for students and members of the general public shall depart from the United State for a destination for which the United States Department of State has issued a Travel Warning."

This policy applies to all individuals seeking academic credit, funding, or university support of any other nature, including those seeking to participate in a program administered by another institution or organization. Before applying to an education abroad program or arranging an independent study opportunity, please check the latest U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings.

Political Security and Natural Disaster Evacuation Services

If you are enrolled in UNL's international medical insurance policy, you also have access to political security and natural disaster evacuation services. Please familiarize yourself with these services before you depart and share this information with loved ones.