Staying safe on campus: Tips for international students

Your university years can be the most amazing years of your life. However, living in a foreign country throws up many safety concerns and you should be aware of the risks and avoid getting into any undesirable situations. While the US is generally a safe place to live, it is a good idea to pay special attention to your personal safety, so you will feel more confident and comfortable during your stay.

Universities in the US have many security measures in place to take care of the safety of their students. There are emergency and security access phones throughout the campus that connect directly to campus or local police. Campus entrances and residence halls are always locked at night and only students with their school identification can get access after hours. There are live-in residence hall directors to oversee each campus housing building. There are even student escort services that provide safe assistance to students on campus. For international students, there are many orientations to provide information on staying safe on campus.

When it comes to safety, you should rely on your own common sense too. Here are a few safety strategies to help you stay safe on campus:

Pay attention to your surroundings; it is good to familiarize yourself with the paths and sidewalks on campus. Always trust your instincts, if a situation appears uncomfortable to you, avoid it at all costs. At your dorm, keep your doors and large windows closed; get to know your roommates, so you can watch out for each other. If you are going out, tell others where you are going but do not post messages on your door shouting your absence. When you are out, do not display valuable electronic items; do not get distracted by cellphone calls, texts or listening to music. Have your keys ready when you get to your building and make sure you lock your door behind you. Keep yourself safe and secure on campus, remember university life should be one of the best experiences of your life, so look after yourself and stay safe.

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