Safety Abroad


The Guarini Institute staff are familiar with Dartmouth's safety and security policies. In addition, they keep a close watch on the situation in our program locations. Their knowledge of locale and experience in supporting Dartmouth students overseas makes them an excellent source for advice on behaviors you may want to avoid any situations in which you should be careful. For more information, see Safety Abroad below and review the Personal Safety sections in the Guarini Student Handbook for Off-Campus Programs.


On-Site Support Partners for Faculty-Directed Programs

The Guarini Institute works with various partners to provide customized support for most faculty-directed off-campus programs. Partners are carefully selected and have a well-trained staff that supports study-away programs year-round at the program location. In most instances, onsite partners are supported by experienced staff at a headquarters that is U.S. based. Guarini's program partners provide a variety of support services customized to meet the needs of individual programs which tend to include a comprehensive orientation, support for program logistics and program payments, and assistance with participant health, safety, and security matters. The Guarini Institute retains control of program design and academic quality, although we welcome suggestions from our partners in this area as we strive to continually strengthen our offerings.


We also suggest students review the Emergency Procedures and the Guarini Student Handbook for Off-Campus Programs sections on Personal Safety & Travel Safety.


Basic Safety Tips

Most of the places to which you will travel are relatively safe and most of the people you will meet will be fine. However, there are dangerous places and people, and one must be careful, especially at night. Being situationally aware and being relaxed at the same time is a skill that requires practice. Do not assume that you can handle every situation just because you have never had trouble taking care of yourself at home or in Hanover. Keep your wits about you, pay attention and take care of your friends and fellow students.

Here are some basic safety tips to keep in mind:


  • Indicate your emergency contacts on your phone (on iPhones, emergency contacts are indicated by a big red asterisk to the right of the contact's name).
  • Share your location with a trusted source when you're going somewhere new—iPhone users can use Find My Friends.
  • Keep identification on you (i.e., a photocopy of your passport).
  • Always be able to communicate. Make sure you have your charged cellphone with you with all emergency numbers. Keep your mobile phone in a safe place.
  • Know local emergency info and how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change (local currency) on hand.
  • Use smart digital habits; avoid using public wi-fi (as you would in the US).


  • When you travel, to the extent possible, you should avoid drawing attention to yourself as a foreigner.
  • Don't leave a friend behind, even if they say it's okay.
  • Do not travel alone at night unless it is unavoidable.
  • Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
  • Make and stick to your plans.
  • Wear helmets and seatbelts when applicable (driving a motorized vehicle while on the program is forbidden).

Behavior & Attire

  • Keep a low profile. Don't dress or act in a way that makes you stand out as a foreign student.
  • Be mindful of espousing strong opinions in situations where offense could result in violence.
  • Cooperate with local authorities.
  • Be cautious with how you display valuables, including jewelry or electronics.
  • Avoid using your back pocket as it becomes easier for pickpockets


  • Make sure to have some cash (local currency) in case you need to take a taxi home.
  • Keep money in two or more places so you have a backup in case you lose your wallet or it is stolen.

Stay Alert

  • Stay alert, don't let your guard down, and trust your instincts. If something feels off, unsafe, or wrong, listen to that and find an alternative.
  • Be aware of travel scams and research common scams in your destination country beforehand.
  • If being robbed, don't fight back, give up your valuables; they can likely be replaced but you can't.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know your exits so you can get out in an emergency.
  • Look for unfamiliar individuals "hanging around" your building or for any other strange activity nearby.
  • Avoid public demonstrations and other disturbances.

Alcohol & Impairment

  • Please note that Dartmouth's policy on hard alcohol applies to off-campus programs. More information about this policy is in the Guarini Student Handbook for Off-Campus Programs.
  • Think about how the use of alcohol can impair your judgment.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, please note that alcohol concentrations may be stronger in some countries than one may be used to in the US.
  • A good rule is never to exceed a quarter of a liter (about two normal glasses). Learn your own limits and avoid any behavior that could be seen as rowdy or disruptive.
  • If you drink, set limits (know when to stop) & designate a friend in charge of making sure everyone comes home safely. It's okay to choose not to drink.
  • For your safety, buy your own drinks and never leave your drink unattended. Spiking drinks to incapacitate victims of sexual assault or robbery is not an uncommon practice in some locales.
  • Also, know how alcohol use may have an adverse effect on any prescribed medications that you take.
  • Of course, it's okay to choose not to drink, too.


Street Smarts Video | International SOS | Guarini Student Handbook for Off-Campus Programs section on Personal Safety & Travel Safety