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Staying safe

Activities that might be safe to participate in at home may not be something you should get involved in abroad. For example, it is not advisable to participate in any form of protest or civil disobedience activities in any foreign country. In some countries it is not even advisable to discuss politics. In many countries where Medical Teams International works, the security situation is very fluid. This part of Module IV will help prepare you to stay safe during your volunteer assignment.

1. Reflect on your previous travel experiences abroad or to a new city in the U.S. and develop a list of the top five personal safety tips that you would give a novice traveler.

2. Please read these safety guidelines from Medical Teams International: Your Safety is Our Priority [PDF]

3. Which of the following would you consider the best source of up-to-date and reliable information on safety and security issues in your assigned country? (a) your local newspaper (b) a national news magazine (c) an all-news television network like CNN (d) the Ministry of the Interior of the country you will be traveling to (e) the Web site of the U.S. Department of State (f) Medical Teams International field staff.

4. Read the U.S. State Department's Tips for Traveling Abroad. There is a wealth of information here, including a section called Emergencies: Consular Assistance and Crises Abroad.

5. For an in-depth discussion of dealing with threatening or hostile situations while abroad, please download and read the following: Preventing and Diffusing Anger and Hostility [PDF]

Question for Reflection

Based on what you have read and your personal experience traveling abroad, what do you think are the most important factors in staying safe abroad?