Today\u2019s <a href="https:\/\/see.news\/ngu-kicks-off-first-student-exchange-with-kings-college-london\/" target="_blank">college students<\/a> are on the move. Many study abroad or get the travel bug and hurry overseas every chance they get.\r\n\r\nIf your student will\u00a0study in another country this fall, you may have <a href="https:\/\/www.collegiateparent.com\/student-life\/study-abroad-safety-tips-for-college-students\/" target="_blank">safety concerns.<\/a> Good news: study abroad isn\u2019t inherently more dangerous than staying on campus (see this\u00a0<a href="https:\/\/forumea.org\/wp-content\/uploads\/2016\/04\/ForumEA_InsuranceClaims_MortalityRateStudentsAbroad.pdf" target="_blank">report from the Forum on Education Abroad<\/a>). And by following the same basic safety rules that apply at home (be aware of your surroundings, avoid traveling alone particularly after dark, keep close tabs on your valuables, drink responsibly) plus taking note of these eight essential tips, your student can have a rewarding\u00a0<em>and<\/em>\u00a0safe experience.\r\n<h3>1. Register with the State Department<\/h3>\r\nThis way the embassy can contact your student in case of a natural disaster, civil unrest or an emergency back home. \u201cWe encourage U.S. citizens traveling overseas to enroll their travel plans in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (<a href="http:\/\/step.state.gov\/" target="_blank">STEP.state.gov<\/a>) so they can receive important messages about their destination(s), including timely Alerts and updates to Travel Advisories,\u201d Carmen Hills, Public Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, said.\u00a0\u201cThere are a number of other ways to receive updates of our safety and security information, including Twitter (@travelgov) and Facebook (<a href="http:\/\/facebook.com\/travelgov" target="_blank">facebook.com\/travelgov<\/a>).\u00a0Students can choose the method that works best for them at\u00a0<a href="http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/stayingconnected" target="_blank">travel.state.gov\/stayingconnected<\/a>.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe State Department website also lists the location of U.S. embassies. Both you and your student should put the number in your phones. The embassy is an American \u201chome base\u201d where your student can get assistance in an emergency. You and your student also might want to follow the appropriate consulate and\/or embassy on Facebook and Twitter.\r\n<h3>2. Speak the language<\/h3>\r\nMost students aren\u2019t (yet!) fluent in the language of their host country, but they should learn basic phrases in advance. This will make it easier to get around and also foster goodwill \u2014 people everywhere appreciate attempts to communicate in their own language. It also makes your student a less obvious target for crime. Speaking of which\u2026\r\n<h3>3. Watch your wallet<\/h3>\r\nPickpockets (who may be well dressed and even speak English) target tourists in busy places. It won\u2019t always be possible for your students to avoid crowds, but they should keep their wallets secure (not in a back pocket) and be cautious about where and when they open it. Use similar precautions with cell phones!\r\n\r\nSuggest that your students make copies of their passport, driver\u2019s license, credit cards, and airplane ticket and keep one set in a separate place from the originals and leave another at home with you. The FBI recommends keeping your passport with you at all times \u2014 theft of American passports is on the rise. If a hotel requires your students to leave their passport at the registration desk, they should ask for a receipt and remember to pick it up when they check out.\r\n<h3>4. Be smart about public transportation<\/h3>\r\nResearch official buses and taxis (names, price) before traveling. With any kind of ride\/limo service, it\u2019s a good idea to agree on a fare before entering the vehicle to avoid confrontation later. Some countries don\u2019t carefully regulate transportation safety. Ask the host school which services are trustworthy and reliable.\r\n\r\nBoth Uber and Lyft operate internationally \u2014 check to see if these will be options.\r\n<h3>5. Know the laws of your host country<\/h3>\r\nNot knowing the law doesn\u2019t protect a person from consequences. Depending on the country, your student should look into the following:\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li>Is it legal to take pictures in public places \u2014 including of government buildings? Is political speech (speaking out against the government) protected?<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Is there attire (especially for females) that is prohibited or frowned upon?<\/li>\r\n \t<li>If they will drive, will their U.S. license be valid or do they need an international driver\u2019s license?<\/li>\r\n \t<li>What are the penalties for drinking and driving?\u00a0(In some countries it\u2019s illegal even to bicycle while intoxicated.)<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Do cars drive on the right or left side of the road? If left, your student should practice looking right, left and right again before crossing a street (the opposite of what they\u2019re used to). And know that pedestrians may not have the right of way as they do in the U.S.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nIt\u2019s always a good idea to respect cultural norms and show deference to officials. The inside of a foreign police station is not a place your student wants to visit.\r\n<h3>6. Prepare for health emergencies<\/h3>\r\nCheck your health insurance plan. Is your student covered for illness and injury abroad and does your plan include medical evacuation? It might be a good idea to purchase supplementary travel insurance. Even if your plan covers doctor visits, your student may have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed later. In addition:\r\n<ol>\r\n \t<li>Research the location of the\u00a0closest doctor\/hospital to where your student will be living.<\/li>\r\n \t<li>The\u00a0<a href="https:\/\/wwwnc.cdc.gov\/travel" target="_blank">CDC\u2019s Travel\u2019s Health Website<\/a>\u00a0provides information about potential health risks and recommended vaccinations.<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Be sure to take a sufficient supply of prescribed medications and essential supplements (like Lactaid for lactose intolerance).<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Pack a small first aid kit that includes Bandaids and commonly used over-the-counter medicines. (You can find many of these items in other countries, but a language barrier can make it difficult.)<\/li>\r\n<\/ol>\r\n<h3>7. Steer clear of demonstrations and protests<\/h3>\r\nFree speech and the right to assemble aren\u2019t universal. If your student gets arrested at an event, they may be found guilty merely by association. Even if a protest doesn\u2019t get out of hand, crowds can be unpredictable \u2014 it\u2019s easy to get separated from friends and lost.\r\n<h3>8. Share your itinerary<\/h3>\r\nSome study abroad programs require students to inform them of any trips outside the city or country. Insist that your student tell someone (preferably you) the dates and destinations of side trips they take while abroad.