Monday, November 22, 2010

Avoiding Trouble Overseas

The latest statistics show that nearly 2,500 U.S. citizens are arrested abroad each year. According to the State Department, unlike the United States a few country feel that you are innocent until proven guilty. When you leave U.S. soil, U.S. laws and constitutional rights are no longer valid. U.S. consular officers can visit the imprisoned Americans to see that they are treated fairly and humanely, but they can not get them out of jail or to intervene in a foreign country's legal system on their behalf. In short, there are consequences for illegal actions and the U.S. government can not protect you.

Legal systems vary widely around the world. Students should know the applicable laws and the local police, if not before arrival. Take particular note of violations of traffic laws and drugs and alcohol. If students are in a country for more than a couple of weeks, you must register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This is useful for students and their families, if necessary to locate family members in an emergency.

If students find themselves in trouble abroad, the consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate can provide some assistance and advice. Support is available for illness, injury, natural disasters, displacement, poverty, or death. However, embassies are not cash checks, lend money or serve as advocates for U.S. citizens.

For a safe journey, keep the following precautionary points in mind:

Let people know where you are. Leave the travel arrangements, a list of addresses, telephone number, fax number or e-mail contacts to your program with friends or family.

Make copies of the data page of your passport and visas. Keep a separate copy of the original while traveling and leave one at home with his family. This will help to obtain a replacement passport if lost or stolen passport. Travel photography also will help you get a new passport more quickly.

Carry your contact information with you. Remember to include the address and phone number of your hotel or homestay. Include the school where you study well. If you are in a country that uses a scripting language, be sure to contact information written clearly and correctly in this script.

Discover local customs and conform with care. While some countries have restrictions on things like photography, others have strict rules governing religion, clothing, food, beverage, business processes and social behavior. Your body language can convey messages very different from the one you want. In some cultures. Casual interactions between men and women dress is common to free you, annoy or offend people in other cultures, these inappropriate actions can threaten your safety.

Consult local people in transport, security zones, dealing with homeless people or applications. Use public transportation or regulated by the government to consult local people about the best way to get around the city. Walking alone can be dangerous. Avoid isolated areas and only works during the day. The beggars and scam artists often seek to passengers and can be very persistent. If it bothers you, keep walking and say "no" several times out loud and clear, using the local language. If you still get to continue in the nearest store or hotel.

Avoid demonstrations or civil unrest. These can quickly turn violent. To ensure you experience the safest possible travel, learn as much as you can in advance about the history, culture, politics and customs of the countries you travel. Observe all the customs, manners, rules and laws.

Safety tips for families of students travelling overseas:

Ensure that you know all travel details of the tour including its purpose, transport to be used throughout the tour, activities to be carried out and accommodation details.

Agree on the arrangements to be made in case the student needs to be sent home early and photocopy the first page of their passports.

Know how to contact the student in the event of an emergency and make definite that they know how to contact you.

think about the chance of giving the student access to a credit card or mobile phone that can be used abroad if necessary.

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