Studying abroad can bring great rewards, but being a visitor in a foreign land also comes with significant risks. Hopefully before you have left you would have studied up and learnt as much about your adopted country before you have left so this will put you in good stead for when you are there as you will have a better knowledge of customs and traditions.
Carry your identification cards with you
As an international student you will get ID cards from university so you can carry that with you or at least a copy of your passport, visa vignette etc. with you. So it is always a safety requirement to carry your ID with you for any sort of verification purpose.
Stay Alert and Trust your Instincts
It’s always good to be alert and aware of what is going on around you. If you are in a busy market or square, just make sure you are aware of the people and what is going on around you and if you feel uneasy or are not sure about something get out and away from the place.
Keep Valuables Close to you
Just like when you are home, do not flash your wallet with lots of money in it or your brand new mobile phone around. This will only draw attention to yourself and make you are target for pickpockets.
Keep a Low Profile
As you are a foreigner in the country you are traveling to try to keep a low profile as much as possible. That said, this does not mean you have to hide away but try not to broadcast the fact you are a foreigner. For example try not to talk too loudly in open spaces and try to dress a little more like others from your host country, this will help your integration and will stop unwanted attention being draw to you.
Learn Your Surroundings
Similar to gathering information about the country you will be visiting, it is also equally important to get as much information about your host town or city. This information will most likely come from your Study Abroad Office but you can also ask past students about this. You want to learn things like what areas you should avoid, how the public transportation system works, etc.
At some point you will want to socialize and this often leads to drinking. The golden rule with drinking is to drink sensibly and among friends who you trust. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and sense of judgment which can make you very vulnerable to thieves and trouble so the advice is drink sensibly or not at all.
Keep in Contact
Probably one of the most important rules is to keep in contact with people and let somebody know where you are going. Use your mobile devices to keep in touch.