- Do not attract undue or unwanted attention to yourself by engaging in behaviors that can mark you as a tourist and thus as a target for pickpockets, etc.
- Don’t wander around with your face buried in a guidebook or behind a huge map; instead, stop for a moment to consult them in an out-of-the-way spot.
- Don’t pull large amounts of cash out of your pocket; keep a small amount of cash in one pocket, and if you must carry more, keep it elsewhere on your person.
- Don’t wear flashy jewelry. Keep expensive cameras in a non-descript carry bag.
- Don’t yell inappropriately or converse very loudly in public places.
- Remain aware of your surroundings at all times: Know where you are and where you are going. Don’t travel alone if you can avoid it, and make sure you don’t get separated from your companion(s).
- To the extent possible, adapt to local standards of dress. If no one else is wearing shorts and flip flops, you shouldn’t either; doing so will make you stand out as a tourist. Note that wearing sneakers and a baseball cap has the same effect in many countries.
- Be discreet and respectful when taking photographs. If you want to photograph people, ask for their permission first.
- Carry a list of emergency contact numbers (local and at home) with you at all times.
- Make sure someone else always knows your travel plans.
- Wear shoes that are easy to remove for both security screening purposes and for comfort on the flight.
- Remember TSA restrictions regarding carry-on items, including limitations on liquids and gels (containers of 3 ounces or less, all must fit within a quart-sized Ziplock bag, and each traveler is limited to one such bag).
- Familiarize yourself with your program’s health insurance plan and/or the Lafayette international health/safety insurance plan.
- Have both medical and dental check-ups before you go abroad.
- Make sure you receive all required vaccinations before you leave. Note that some vaccinations are given in a series of shots administered weeks or months apart, so do not leave this until the last minute. Your program will provide information on necessary vaccinations/medication. You may also consult the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website.
- Know what medications are legal/illegal in your destination country. You’d be surprised at what medications other countries either do not allow or for which they have restrictions. This information can be found by connecting with the foreign embassy of your destination country.
- Obtain enough of all prescription medications that you require for the duration of your program, and make sure to keep them in their original containers with the pharmacy label clearly stating your name and the prescribing doctor’s name. It is also advisable to take a note from your physician stating the medicine you are taking, its dosage, its generic name, and the condition being treated.
- Make sure you inform your program/program director of any medical conditions for which you might require care or special accommodations while you are abroad (for example diabetes, epilepsy, severe allergies, etc.). Be sure to fully and truthfully complete any medical forms for your program.
- Know the local conditions that you will encounter while abroad, and consider how this will affect you. Is the weather extreme? Are there common allergens you need to worry about? Does the local diet present any difficulties for you? Is the water safe to drink? Have there been any recent epidemics?
- As a matter of both health and safety, avoid overindulging in alcohol while abroad, and absolutely refrain from using any illegal drugs.
- Carry information about blood type, important medical conditions, and any other medical information on your person.
Disclosure of Medical Conditions and/or Disabilities
The social and cultural changes associated with studying abroad can put students under a great deal of physical and emotional stress, aggravating existing conditions. For this reason, we strongly encourage students to disclose any and all medical, physical, psychological, and/or dietary conditions that may require special accommodation while abroad. Such information will be kept strictly confidential, released only to the Director of the program and any necessary health care professionals should such a need arise.
You can find more information regarding disabilities abroad at http://www.miusa.org
Lafayette College complies with all federal and state legislation and does not in any way discriminate in educational programs on the basis of physical ability.
Sexual Assault Abroad
If you’ve experienced sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, or other forms of sexual or gender-based harassment, you are likely to have concerns and questions. The below resources are available to you in order to move forward in a way that’s appropriate for you. If you are experiencing an emergency or need immediate assistance, please call Lafayette Public Safety at 610-330-4444.