Civil and Political Instability Political demonstrations abroad can sometimes culminate into anti-American demonstrations. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) You are most strongly encouraged to enroll in STEP! STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. You can enter information on your trip or overseas residence and subscribe to receive updates on Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts and other information for a particular country.
If a bus or van driver is driving erratically or looks intoxicated or overtired, consider getting out and finding alternate means of transport.
Driving in countries where cars drive on the left-hand side of the street is especially dangerous.
Those used to driving on the right-hand side may react inappropriately (e.g. Embassy or Consulate cannot get you out of jail or out of a legal dispute.
pressing the wrong pedal or veering the wrong way) when faced with “close calls” from other drivers or when under stress or fatigue. The protection of American law and legal procedures does not apply in foreign countries. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Emergency Contact Numbers Know the national number to dial in case of an emergency in your host country. Your program’s resident director or university’s international students’ office often provides lists of emergency contacts as well as procedures to follow in various emergency situations. In the event of a security incident abroad, please contact your loved ones, the Office of Overseas Studies and your program Resident Director, so that they are aware you are safe and accounted for. International SOS also provides assistance and services to USC students in security and crisis situations.
State Department Overseas Citizens Services website for more information regarding emergency assistance, resources, and next steps.
Go to “Health & Safety Issues A-Z Index.” Of special note are: “Sexual Harassment and Prevention in College Students Studying Abroad”, by Nancy Newport.
“Top Ten Ways to Not Become a Victim of Crime Around the World”, by Malcolm Nance and Lisa Hughes.
In the case of a security emergency such as civil unrest, attempted coups or acts of terrorism, International SOS can provide political evacuations, emergency and contingency plans, crisis centers and referrals.
The International SOS website is a great resource for general travel security information and region-specific information.
Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services at the University of Southern California can provide more detailed information regarding sexual assault risk reduction, as well as post assault counseling. In this document the victim is referred to as “her”, with the acknowledgement that this is for the sake of clarity and continuity.