The VIH Program relies on the U.S. Department of State, the Overseas Security Advisory Council and the Centers for Disease Control for the most up-to-date information on travel warnings and alerts. An updated list of travel warnings can be found at the State Department's website. Additionally, your institution may have restrictions regarding countries with U.S. travel warnings in place. Check with your campus coordinator or your study abroad office if you believe a travel restriction might apply to your program.
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Programs (STEP) is a free service offered by the U.S. government for citizens that are going abroad. Students can enter the information about their trip with STEP so that assistance can be provided in emergency situations such as natural disasters, civil disturbances, family issues, or circumstances where a passport is lost or stolen.
Violence Against Women
Violence against women is a growing concern all over the world. Always be alert and use the same safety precautions as you would in the U.S., no matter where you are going. Do research about the status of women in your host country, and ask yourself these questions about your study abroad plan. The U.S. State Department also has tips and advice specifically for women travelers, be sure to read these tips before you leave. Additionally, keep in mind the following tips:
- Purse Patrol: Do not leave your purse unattended.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol will impair your judgment, be especially careful when in unfamiliar places or with unfamiliar people
- Cultural Cues: Pay attention to the behavior of local people. Identify what is/not appropriate for women, and emulate local behavior.
- Clothing & Dress: Pack conservative items of clothing. While abroad, observe the dress of local women.
- General Safety: Follow your instincts! If a situation does not feel right, find a way to respectfully (or disrespectfully is necessary) leave.