Security Abroad

Bradley University international programs have continued successfully and uninterrupted during the atmosphere of security concerns in recent years. No one, of course, can guarantee others that they will be safe and secure under all circumstances, either in the U.S. or abroad, and we have never made such a pledge. We must all remember, though, that security is no more an international than a domestic issue; the threat of terrorism exists everywhere, at home as well as abroad. Our decisions about moving forward with Bradley Study Abroad programs have consistently been well-founded and will always be carefully considered. We are mindful that Americans at home and abroad have witnessed an unprecedented series of events in recent years, even including incidents in long-term Bradley study abroad locations, such as London. On the other hand, safety and security abroad have been longstanding considerations for international programs. Our office is in routine contact about security matters with official government agencies as well as international education organizations, and we pay careful attention to the advice of our government and others. We would communicate and act immediately upon official notification of any compelling, extraordinary, or specific threat in the venues where we conduct our programs. Students would be notified by our office should any program changes, cancellations, or postponements be necessary in the future. Our program decisions will continue to be made with all due precaution and prudence.

When you're abroad: No matter how "usual" things may seem in foreign locations, it is essential that you continue to follow the advice we provide. We do not encourage fear, but must remind all program participants to exercise vigilance. All study abroad students should exercise caution, keep us informed of any unusual incidents, and contact their professors or program director if they have questions. In addition, please take the time to read the points made below. They could prove to be important for your safety. We recommend these measures wherever and whenever a student travels; they are not specifically attached to concerns about the threat of terrorism, nor about our programs. They represent good sense and common, careful travel practices.

  • Once you're onsite overseas, lock your passport in your luggage. Do not carry it with you.
  • Be aware that many security-related incidents are related to risk-taking behavior and poor judgment related to alcohol misuse. Consuming alcohol and being out late in an unfamiliar neighborhood, being careless with language in a way that may offend cultural sensibilities, being loud, and behaving carelessly with strangers is not illegal. But it can lead to tragedy.
  • Keep the door to your hotel room or other Bradley-assigned accommodation locked at all times -- even if you and friends are back and forth between rooms visiting.
  • Never engage in verbal argument with strangers abroad, and never, never become involved in a physical altercation. --Run from a fight. Call 999. If a situation appears to be hostile, leave, or find a responsible person and ask for help, but get away, fast, without argument.
  • In all public places, remain alert; look around; get away from any package or bag which appears to be unattended and mention it to employees or the police. Do not leave your own bags or purse unattended at any time.
  • If you travel on assigned independent travel days, leave your individual travel itinerary with your professor or with a Resident Director. Be sure they know where you'll be, when you're leaving, and when you will be back.
  • Don't stand out and don't go out at night alone. Traveling as an identifiable American group of students might imply more elements of risk than of protection. Remember a general rule: Try not to stand out as a group or as an individual; try to blend in with the surroundings. And, it never makes sense to go out at night alone.
  • Report suspicious events immediately. Contact your professor or the Resident Director immediately if you observe suspicious persons within the premises, classrooms, student hangouts, or other venues, and report anything which could indicate threats.
  • You will be given appropriate numbers to call in the case of an emergency.
  • Stay away from street demonstrations, even if you just want to watch. In case of immediate threat of terrorist actions or significant incidents you should remember that the safest place you can be usually is in your room, not out on the streets.
  • Evacuate your hotel room, classroom, or premises immediately if an alarm is activated or if orders to evacuate are given orally.
  • Don't be careless with information about yourself, fellow students, or Bradley events. Please be cautious when you meet new people. Do not give out your hotel room number (or your U.S. address or phone number). Never give away or leave student addresses or phone numbers, class schedules, or other material describing when and where our group activities take place. Never invite someone you=ve just met up to your hotel room – never.
  • Don't carry, look after, or store any package, parcel or suitcase for anyone. Make sure that nobody puts anything in your luggage.In train stations and airports, do not hang around ticket offices or counters. Go quickly to the lounges beyond passport control.
  • This is not the time or place for public displays of American patriotism, no matter how strongly you feel about the U.S. Avoid using American logos on your belongings and clothing. Be prepared for the possibility that you may hear negative or disturbing remarks about the U.S. or Americans. Don't respond, and ignore people making such remarks. Don't answer direct questions about your nationality, give information about yourself, or explain why you are abroad to someone who has no business asking or who seems aggressive or insistent or who makes you uncomfortable in any way.
  • Consider frequenting venues other than high-visibility areas frequented by Americans, and if you do frequent these venues, keep track of your belongings.
  • Touch base with your family and friends at home. Even if you feel safe, it=s reassuring to people back in the U.S. to hear that you are doing fine.
  • Relax. Deal with realities. Stay calm. Being vigilant does not mean being intimidated.