Security Abroad

Bradley University international programs have continued successfully and uninterrupted during the atmosphere of security concerns in recent years. These days, of course, no one can guarantee others that they will be safe under all circumstances, either in the U.S. or abroad. 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. We are mindful that Americans at home and abroad have witnessed an unprecedented series of events in recent years. 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 affiliate organizations. We would communicate and act immediately upon being notified of any compelling, extraordinary, or specific threat in the venues where we conduct our programs. Students would be notified if any program changes, cancellations, or postponements became necessary. Our program decisions will continue to be made with all due consideration, and always with the safety and security of our participants foremost.

When you’re abroad: No matter how usual things may seem in foreign locations, it is essential that you continue to be attentive to security issues. We do not encourage fear, but remind you that safe travelers exercise vigilance and caution. If you witness unusual incidents, share the information. Fee free to ask questions. And please take the time to read the points made below. These are standard recommendations for safety measures when traveling abroad, and they represent good sense and common, informed 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 abroad are related to risk-taking behavior and poor judgments related to alcohol misuse. Don’t endanger yourself or the group. See our handout on “Alcohol Misuse.”
  • 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.
  • If you engage in independent activities apart from the group, be sure to inform your professor or a program director, and leave a travel itinerary. Be sure they know where you’ll be, when you’re leaving, and when you will be back.
  • In 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.
  • Remember a general rule: Try not to stand out as a group or as an individual; try to blend in with the surroundings. It never makes sense to go out at night alone.
  • Report suspicious events immediately. Contact your professor or a program director immediately if you observe suspicious persons within the premises, classrooms, student hangouts, or other venues, and report anything which could indicate threats.
  • Being careless with language in a way that may offend cultural sensibilities, being loud, or behaving rudely abroad represents us all badly, and in addition such behavior can lead to security issues. Remain cognizant of cultural standards.
  • Avoid 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.
  • Never engage in a verbal argument with strangers abroad, and never, never become involved in a physical altercation. Run from a fight. Call the police. If a situation appears to be developing into hostility, leave. Fast. Without arguing.
  • 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 share the name of your hotel or your room number 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.
  • 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.
  • You will be given appropriate numbers to call in the case of an emergency.