Health & Safety
While abroad, you should take the same health and safety precautions you would back home. It is possibly an even better idea to be over-cautious, as dealing with an emergency while in unfamiliar territory will always be more difficult than usual.
If you’re in an emergency situation, the best remedy (as always) is preparation. Be sure to take the following advice to heart.
Additionally, as a foreigner you may be an increased target to pickpocket scams. Always be aware of your surroundings and your personal belongings. Do not make yourself a target by having items such as cell phones and laptops on open display, especially after dark, and always make sure that you stick to well-lit and high-traffic areas both on campus and off.
Specific safety suggestions for students abroad include:
- Stay informed of local laws and customs;
- Do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry;
- Do not carry large amounts of cash;
- Do not leave your luggage unattended;
- Do not flash large amounts of money when making a transaction;
- Ensure that your credit card has been returned to you after each transaction;
- Keep passport, cash, and credit cards in a secure location such as an inside pocket or a shoulder bag, not in easily accessible pockets or bags;
- Be aware of any group of people who create a distraction;
- Try to act purposeful even if you are lost. Ask individuals of authority for directions;
- Only take taxis clearly identified and confirm the cost of your ride before departure.
International Center (office hours): 001 312-567-3680
IIT Public Safety (emergencies outside office hours): 001 312-808-6363
IIT Public Safety (non-emergencies outside office hours): 001 312-808-6300
Worldwide Assistance (call collect): 202-659-7777
IIT Health Insurance Plan: 301-656-4152 (Chickering)
In case of any national event that poses a threat to your personal security, please follow the advice below:
- If you have not done already, register with the U.S. Embassy in your host country, informing them of your whereabouts and contact details
- Monitor U.S. State Department travel warnings
- Maintain regular contact with key people – host university, Study Abroad Office at IIT and family in the U.S. or elsewhere – and keep them informed of your whereabouts and movements.
- Monitor email regularly – the Study Abroad Office will make all contact using your IIT email (and any web-based email address you provide us with before departure). If you have a cell phone, inform the Study Abroad Office of your number and keep the Study Abroad Office number programmed into your phone (+1-312-567-3694).
- Keep a low profile and be cautious.
- Make a decision in collaboration with embassy representatives, on-site coordinators and the SAO, and inform other key people once action is decided on.
- If possible, avoid traveling alone.
- Keep everybody informed of your whereabouts, if possible, including your arrival at a safe location.