The safety of our students is our number one priority. The Study Abroad Office at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, along with our institutions abroad, are monitoring world events daily and will keep you updated as new information becomes available.
Safety Tips for Study Abroad Students
- Register with the local U.S Embassy. The addresses of U.S. Embassies abroad are listed below.
- Check the Department of State’s Web site daily: www.state.gov/travel.
- Check the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page daily for public announcements, travel advisories and travel warnings: www.travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html.
- Make three photocopies of your passport. Give one to your family in the U.S., give one to the program staff abroad, and carry one with you at all times. Carry your actual passport with you in a safe place when you are traveling.
- Stay aware of current political events both in the host country and in the United States. Read local, American and international newspapers daily. Keep in mind that the U.S. media does not always address international stories so be sure to read local and international newspapers as well as American ones. Links to some online newspapers are given below.
- Exercise caution when visiting such places as American restaurants, clubs, bars, American banks, American churches, U.S. Embassies or Consulates.
- Check with your host institution before making any travel plans. If the host institution approves your travel plans, give a copy of your trip itinerary to your family and program staff with a list of hotel/hostel phone numbers so they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency. Be aware of the political situation of the country you plan on traveling to. Find out the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting.
- Keep the following information on you at all times: the emergency phone number of your host institution, the contact phone number and address of the U.S. Embassy of your host country, and your family’s phone numbers and email addresses.
- Keep in regular contact with your family in the U.S. In addition to phone contact, it is a good idea to maintain regular e-mail contact with your family. In the event of a crisis, it may not be possible to communicate with your family via phone so it is important to be able to access your family via email if necessary. See the section below titled Contacting Study Abroad Students During an Emergency.
- Avoid behavior or clothing that may identify you as an American. Some important tips for "blending in" to the local culture include:
- Speak softly in public. Americans tend to speak loudly and often attract a lot of attention that way.
- If you are studying in a country where English is not the native language, try to speak in the native language whenever possible.
- Be aware when discussing current events or political views in public places.
- Be aware that some items of clothing identify your nationality (e.g., backwards baseball caps, college sweatshirts).
- Travel in small groups of two or three individuals, instead of large conspicuous American groups. But do not travel alone, especially at night.
- Always carry emergency money and an international calling card when traveling
- Exercise caution when attending political demonstrations, protest groups, or situations where political conflict may arise.
- Remain alert at all times. Exercise caution when meeting people for the first time. Do not give out too much information about yourself, your program or its location when initially meeting someone. Do not give out your phone number or address to people you do not know.
The Differences Between Public Announcements, Worldwide Cautions, and Travel Warnings Posted on the State Department’s Web site.
- Public Announcements - A means of sharing information that may be of interest to travelers. These announcements deal with news items that may affect traveler safety for the short-term and generally involve safety issues of which American citizens should be aware.
- Worldwide Cautions - Share news items that may potentially be a threat to Americans abroad. These usually deal with non-specific security and safety issues that Americans should be aware of. There is ALWAYS a "Worldwide Caution" posted to remind U.S. citizens to be careful and cautious while traveling abroad.
- Travel Warnings - Discourage Americans from traveling to a particular country because of safety issues based on a specific threat the U.S. government has received regarding that country.
Contacting Study Abroad Students During an Emergency
* The Citizens’ Emergency Center of the Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) offers emergency assistance. In the event that a loved one overseas cannot be reached during an emergency, the OCS can help transmit emergency messages from the family in the U.S. to the student abroad. OCS is open Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The OCS toll-free hotline at 1-888-407-4747 is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday, except U.S. federal holidays. Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.
For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, please call 202-647-4000 and request the OCS duty officer.
Other Helpful Resources
- Long Island University, along with our affiliate schools abroad, have emergency procedures in place in the event that our students have to be evacuated to safety during emergency situations.
- C.W. Post reserves the right to close a program if the U.S. Department of State recalls U.S. citizens from a country where we have a study abroad program or if State Department deems that the students’ safety would be at significant risk. In the unlikely event of a program closing, we will make every effort to ensure that students receive academic credit for their semester abroad.