Personal Security and Safety
Accidents can happen, and all students should take proper, common sense, safety precautions while abroad: don't walk home alone at night or in dimly-lit areas, watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas, don't flash money or valuables in public. All students should read through the following information before leaving to find out how to protect themselves from crime and what to do should they have a medical emergency or become a victim of crime.
The U.S. Department of State maintains a website for U.S. citizen students who are studying abroad at www.studentsabroad.state.gov which addresses the following subject areas:
Enrolling with the nearest U.S. Embassy through the STEP Enrollment Program at: https://step.state.gov/step/
Country-specific conditions, as well as travel warnings and alerts, at: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html
Travel safety: http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/students-abroad/pdfs/Safety-v1.pdf
Alcohol is a serious issue for American students both at home and abroad. Students who are not of legal drinking age in the United States sometimes adjust poorly to the general availability of alcoholic drinks while abroad. Wine and beer are a regular part of social discourse and meals in the households of most host countries, restaurants, and campuses. "Responsible" drinking practices vary considerably from country to country, though none have the "binge" drinking culture often found on United States campuses. Public drunkenness is severely frowned upon in most countries and campuses. We trust that Juniata students will behave responsibly and will remember that as a foreigner they can be more vulnerable to problems if they have had too much to drink. Students should act responsibly when choosing whether to drink or not.
Drug penalties are generally much more severe than those of the United States. In some countries, simple acquisition of prohibited drugs, including marijuana and other controlled substances, can result in heavy fines, deportation and prison sentences ranging from months to years, or to capital punishment in Southeast Asia.
United States students are expected to abide by all local laws, including drug laws. United States embassy officials are very unsympathetic to drug violations by United States citizens and will only give a list of local lawyers and will contact, by collect call, one person in the United States. One student's action often affects several others. Therefore, Juniata takes a strong line against the abuse of alcohol and use of illegal drugs while a student is here or abroad.
Despite students' best efforts to safeguard their property, it is still possible for it to be lost, stolen or damaged when traveling or living abroad. As Juniata does not insure students' property while they are overseas, all student participants are urged to purchase property insurance for the entire duration of their stay abroad. Students should investigate their parents' homeowner's insurance to verify if all the items to be brought on the trip will be covered by their policy. It is recommended that all valuable items (e.g., laptop computers) be insured.