Staying safe while you are studying abroad is extremely important. When it comes to studying in a different country, most of the time, one is on a tight budget and has to deal with the stress of classes and homework.
In addition to this, one has to also deal with adjusting to customs and traditions of that country. The US is a very safe place for students, however, it’s always best to be prepared or aware of best practices, especially if you will be living there alone without the support of family. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while studying in the US…
Keep Your Valuables Close To You
Do not flash your wallet with lots of money in it or your brand new gadgets around. This will only attract attention to yourself and make you a soft target for pickpockets. Unfortunately, such unsavoury elements exist everywhere, in every country so it’s best to be prepared. Purchase a safety locker and put away all your important stuff in it, even if you know everyone who is staying in your room, it is wise to try a strong combo lock or padlock that only you have access to.
It is always good to be alert and aware of what is happening around you. You need to trust your instincts and move away from any place that makes you uneasy in a foreign location.
Keep a Low Profile
It is best to not broadcast that you are a foreigner in the country and try keeping a low profile. You must avoid talking loudly in public places and try your best to dress to blend with the host country. This way you can avoid unwanted attention being drawn to you.
Learn Your Surroundings
It is important to collect as much information about your host town or city as possible. You can gain insights from students who have studied in the country in the past and learn things like what areas you should avoid, how the public transportation system works, and much more.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Culture shock, stress and homesickness are all symptoms of studying abroad – don’t panic. It is normal! Make sure you find ways to stay mentally healthy throughout your study period. You can cultivate a new hobby to keep yourself occupied, take a walk, do yoga or take meditation classes. Remember, you’re probably not the only one who is going through this, so do reach out and make friends who can form a strong support system. This way, if you feel overwhelmed, you can talk to a friend and feel better. There are also several support group available in the US who you can reach out to or speak to a counsellor. You can also check to see if your institution has programs available to help you when you feel distressed.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to have a good experience studying abroad, so keep an open mind and don’t stress! We hope this article was helpful to you. Have a great and safe time abroad!