- Before departing
- When you arrive
- Is it safe to study in the USA?
- Safety issues to research
- Safety tips for students
- Benefits of studying in the USA
As an international student, you may want to or are thinking about studying in the United States but are wondering is it safe to study in the USA? If so, you might want to know more about just how safe it is and what you can do to stay safe at school.
While there are some risks that will come with your decision to study abroad in the USA, this comes with any location or part of the world. You’ll be happy to know that a large number of students study and thrive in the USA each year. It’s a place where you can pursue your career and get involved with communities that are not only safe but welcoming.
There are some elements to keep in mind and to-dos to tackle before you leave. Start thinking about safety as you begin packing your bags for the USA.
Take the time to research safety statistics and locations for where the school is located so you can properly prepare and be more mindful and aware of the reality of the situation once you arrive.
Go to your school’s website and look up the crime statistics. Learn about the safety precautions your school is taking currently and what advice they have for you once you’re on campus.
Most colleges in the US will have an on-campus police system and people you can call who will respond much faster than the police can. Choose safe accommodation in a good area that doesn’t get a lot of crime if possible. Understand what the surrounding area is like such as if it’s a rural setting, urban, or suburban.
Another important aspect to research further that relates to your safety at school is transportation. Know what your options are for getting around and how you can and will do so safely.
When you arrive
After arrival, there are also steps you can take to ensure you stay safe. Once you arrive in the US, you should make your safety a top priority. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and remind yourself that most campuses are entirely open to the public.
Once you arrive, be sure to keep an eye on your valuables.
Theft and burglary aren’t uncommon on campuses, especially in the cities. Don’t be too trusting and make sure you leave your valuables at home or keep a watch over them in areas such as the cafeteria and library.
Some tips to keep you safe on campus once you arrive are to get a locking device for your laptop, avoid leaving your possessions alone in public, as well as being careful with your keys and doing your best not to misplace them.
Is it safe to study in the USA?
When it comes to addressing the question, is it safe to study in the USA, the short answer is, yes. However, it’s always up to you to be aware of your environment and never compromise your safety or put yourself in danger.
Don’t put your guard down and assume all places in the US are safe. As a foreign student, you should be mindful and attentive to take extra steps to ensure you are kept and feel safe.
Remember that how safe you are and the crime rate will vary by location and school so take into account where you are to understand the area better. Focus on being aware and informed of the safety issues you could face and then have a plan of action for staying safe and out of harm’s way.
Safety issues to research
As an international student studying in the US, it’s good to get a better idea of the types of safety issues you might face. Be glad to know there are also some ways and tips for overcoming them.
- Campus crime: Take the time to review the campus crime statistics before you arrive at school. Know what your school recommends for staying safe and what suggestions they have for getting around at nighttime.
- Off-campus crime: You may also face issues with off-campus crime as a student in the US. You may be an easy target since some assume international students are naïve. Always keep your apartment key with you and don’t lend it out. Be sure to lock all your windows and doors when you leave your apartment and are away from home.
- Identity theft: Identity theft could happen to you as an international student. This is serious and you should do all you can to avoid it from happening to you. Keep all important documents safe and do not share them with anyone. Do not engage with anyone or anything that seems suspicious or phone calls where people ask you for confidential information.
- Common crimes: There are also common crimes that occur in the US every year which are burglary, theft, robbery, and aggravated assault. Keep track of your important belongings and be on alert when it comes to your stuff and where you live.
- Health risks: There are health risks that you may encounter during your time in the US as well. Be safe by taking good care of yourself and your mental health. You may face bad weather and allergy issues as well.
Safety tips for students
If you’re worried about studying in the USA and want to know how to stay safe then review some tips for international students that can help you feel more comfortable and have a more rewarding time away.
First of all, be observant and alert no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Many crimes can be avoided by simply being present in the moment and not distracted. Also, never walk around by yourself at night if possible.
These are crimes of opportunity and you may be putting yourself in great danger. Check to see if your campus has an escort service who can walk with you or find a friend or classmate to walk home with at night.
Theft is another big safety concern on campuses in the USA. Therefore, keep your valuables locked up and put away and always have a close eye on them. Don’t leave them unattended and out in the open or sitting on the seat of your car. Always carry your wallet or purse with you instead of assuming it’ll be fine out of your sight.
You’re also going to have housing choices when you decide to study in the US. If you leave you should always lock your doors and windows no matter if you’re staying in on-campus housing or an apartment off-campus.
You don’t want strangers getting in or people lurking around because they know you’re away and that you don’t lock your doors. Don’t let anyone in unless you know them or know they’re coming or they are law enforcement.
As mentioned above, you can also stay safe studying in the USA by protecting and safeguarding your personal information. These are things like your social security number and your credit cards.
Know that there is no quick way to make money so walk away if someone tries to tell you that there is an opportunity to do so. You might also want to make copies of your passport and visa.
Benefits of studying in the USA
Studying in the USA could be the best decision you ever made for yourself due to the benefits it offers. There are several reasons why you may want to pursue your dream of studying in the country.
For starters, the institutions and schools are known for academic excellence and can provide you with a stellar education. The education system is flexible, offers cultural diversity, and there is a wonderful support system in the US for international students.
Even better, campus life in the majority of areas and locations is lively and vibrant. You’re sure to not only get a great education but have some fun and meet new people at the same time. You can work on perfecting your English while you explore different educational and career opportunities during your time in the country.
The bottom line and takeaway here is that you are ultimately responsible for yourself and your own safety in the country. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your campus security or international student office for more information or tips.
Your university is there to support you and they want you to have a safe and positive experience at school.
There are many benefits and upsides when you choose to study in the US that can’t be denied.
You’ll likely be setting yourself up to have a rewarding and prosperous career and will enjoy having new and exciting adventures and journeys along the way.
Apply these safety tips and you’ll soon be on your way to formulating a bright future for yourself all while staying out of trouble and having experiences you can take with you for the rest of your life.