Study Abroad Tips: Travel the World the Smart and Safe Way

Young Asian woman outdoors with other young people in background

Studying abroad should be an amazing experience. Prepare for your trip by reading Protection 1’s study abroad tips and learn the importance of study abroad safety.

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity to travel, learn new languages and experience new cultures. According to Unesco’s Institute for Statistics, the number of students studying internationally is increasing by about 12 percent each year; showing that schools and students alike are truly recognizing the advantages that students can get by stepping outside of their comfort zone and immersing themselves in a new culture. While studying abroad is a great experience, students must still take the necessary precautions to protect their health and safety. Prepare for a safe and healthy study abroad experience by following these study abroad tips from Protection 1.


  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Travelers’ Health site at least a month before your trip so that you can learn about any potential health risks that exist at your destination and schedule appointments to get the necessary vaccinations and medicines.
  • Consider investing in travel health insurance. This type of health insurance protects travelers abroad with international health insurance plans.
  • If you are on prescription medications, check the CDC website to see if they are allowed in the country where you will be visiting. Be sure to pack enough of your prescription to last you the entirety of your trip.
  • Check to see what the sanitation standards are in the country where you will be visiting. Only drink water that you know is clean. If you are unsure about the water conditions, only drink water that is bottled and sealed, or boiled.

General Study Abroad Safety Tips

  • Do your research beforehand. It is important to remember that you are a guest of the country where you are visiting. Recognize that what is acceptable in the U.S. may not be the norm where you are studying.
  • Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the U.S. Government. This program is a free service for U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in a foreign country and helps the Department of State assist citizens in emergency situations.
  • Learn and follow the local laws.
  • Memorize and write down the cross streets of where you are staying. Also save the location and phone numbers of other important places such as the American Embassy, the local hospital and the emergency services.
  • Learn a few key phrases in the native language so that you can communicate with others. Knowing the native language will be extremely useful, especially in emergency situations.
  • Find out what the safest means of transportation are.
  • Learn what is acceptable to wear by the culture's standards.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Try not to travel alone.
  • Avoid traveling to any country that is listed on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warning list.
  • Try your best to blend in. People may prey on the fact that you are a foreigner, so try not to broadcast this fact by keeping a low profile and following the local customs.
  • If you are studying abroad with other students, exchange contact information with them so that you can keep in touch with other people and let them know your whereabouts if you do venture out alone.
  • Be protective of your documents such as your passport and identification. Make copies of your passport and other important documents and keep them in a secure place in case you need to replace them.

Prepare for your new adventure by adhering to these study abroad tips so you can keep yourself safe and truly enjoy studying abroad.