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Study and Safety: Go Abroad Prepared – A Student’s Perspective

Posted by Tauschek, Emily L - July 8, 2016 - Emily T., Featured, Students, Study Abroad

Beau Solomon

Beau Solomon

For students studying abroad it’s the ultimate adventure. For their parents the level of excitement takes equilibrium with the worry. By now, the news regarding the death of the UW-Madison student Beau Solomon has reached national and world attention. How tragic and devastating for the friends and family of Solomon. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family as the investigation continues.

When I first heard about this story, complete shock ran through my head. I have recently returned from a semester abroad through the UW-Stevens Point Office of International Education, and thought of times I felt uncomfortable.

I hope this breaking news doesn’t discourage students from studying abroad in the future because it truly is a life changing experience and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. With that being said, my goal is to put parents and students at ease by addressing some safety things that worked for me.

They say never walk alone, but depending on your situation that can be tricky. Are you living with a host family or on campus? Do you have a roommate? Where are you living near school, with friends or the center? All of these questions come into play.

Here are my thoughts to keep you safe:

  • walk on streets with sufficient light and people.
  • hold your house keys in your hand between your fingers.
  • don’t walk with your hands in your pocket.
  • if you like to listen to music, put only one ear bud in.
  • discuss meeting places and times with friends. If you are going to be late, send a message to your friends as soon as possible. Conversely, if your friend(s) are 15 minutes late, find some Wifi and check in with them.

While in another country, Wifi is crucial. For some it’s their only means of communication. I recommend:

  • use various free Wi-Fi connections  often provided by cafes along your walk.
  • have an International Sim Card. I had one and was so thankful for it! This allowed me to send a text or make a call whenever I wanted to. You won’t always be able to connect to the airport Wifi due to the number of people trying to access it so this is a nice option because I always let my mom know when I was boarding and when I had arrived to each destination. This wasn’t the only time it came in handy either.

Be prepared for the unexpected. Somebody might buy the wrong ticket and get split up from the group. Try your best to remain calm and figure out how you will meet up with everyone. Or maybe the place you are supposed to stay falls through. Always have a back-up plan.

My final advice:

  • Make a travel itinerary especially for the Spring Break period. Print it and send it to your parents so they know where you will be and when.
  • Print all tickets ahead of time and double check everything.
  • Know your emergency numbers.

Last thing, be smart! Being smart and safe doesn’t in any way take away from the experience so have fun Pointers!

~Emily

Emily Tauschek ’19 is a dietetics and Spanish double major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

 

Semester Program
Emergency Numbers
Australia 000, 112
China 110
England 112, 999
France 112
Germany 112
Hungary 112
Ireland 112, 999
New Zealand 111
Poland 112
Spain 112

 

Summer/Winterim Program
Emergency Numbers
Australia 000, 112
Austria 112
Cameroon 112
China 110
Costa Rica 911
Iceland 112
Ireland 112, 999
Japan 110
Kenya 112, 999
London, England 112, 999
Namibia 112
Oaxaca, Mexico 911
Scotland 112, 999

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