Facing an Emergency as an International Student

Facing an Emergency as an International Student

by Bryanna Davis

Being an international student means having the chance to experience a whole new world! While most students who study abroad for a few weeks or years never stumble into any problems- there are a select few who do. In the event that the odds are not in your favor, it’s best to be informed on what to do when you are facing an emergency as an international student.

The first thing to look at is the urgency of the issue. Is this an emergency that needs to be handled in that very moment such as someone choking or having a heart attack? If so, it’s best to step in if you are fully knowledgeable on how to handle the situation, such as giving the Heimlich Maneuver. Learning how to do a few basic life-saving steps can be very helpful both for yourself and those around you while studying  abroad. Before your trip you might want to consider taking a CPR certification course or first aid class.

If you do not have the skills to step in and help in the situation, then it’s best to find someone who can. If no one is around who is able to help, calling the country emergency line is a good place to start. If you are a US student studying abroad, it’s important to keep in mind that 9-1-1 is not the emergency code in other countries.  To be prepared when facing an emergency as an international student, memorize the emergency number in your host country before you even arrive.

Before you study abroad it’s also important to compile a list of emergency contacts to bring with you and leave an itinerary and your contact information with a family member or friend. You may also want to look into if your home country has a smart traveler program that allows you to receive updated notifications on travel warnings and alerts for the country you will be traveling to.

Although emergencies abroad do happen to international students, staying aware of your surroundings and preparing ahead of time for if they do occur can make a big difference when it comes to the emergency outcome.


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