There has been a definite increase in the number of women in India going abroad for higher studies in the recent years. The excitement associated with studying abroad, career growth, and cross-cultural experiences are what attract Indian women to study abroad. Most often it might seem that women students need to take a more conscious effort to stay safe than their male counterparts.
Here are some safety tips that help you stay safe while making the most of your stint abroad.
Even before you set foot in your destination country, try and get to know the culture of the place, the way local women usually dress there and the mindsets of men and their attitudes towards women. You can get all this info either online or by speaking to friends and family who have travelled abroad as students or tourists. This way you can pack appropriate clothing and accessories, or can purchase the same when you reach there.
Many women students who have studied abroad say it pays to stay alert. Always be aware of your surroundings. This doesn’t mean you become paranoid and fearful!
Prepare for the worst
Know how the local phones work in the place you are in and be prepared to use them; that is, if you need a phone card, get one. Carry some money wherever you go in case you need to quickly get out of a situation. You should prepare for the worst while hoping for the best!
Even if you have lost your way or can’t figure out where a particular place is, act like you know exactly where you are going. Project a confident attitude. While exploring new places, keep a map handy and ask another woman for directions.
Know what’s commonly worn by women in the city you are staying and try to blend in by dressing similarly. Always try and lean on the conservative side. Though in most western countries such as the U.S, U.K, and Australia, lots of women wear short dresses and shorts, avoiding attracting any undue attention will only help you in the long run. Avoid displaying jewellery that looks expensive. Try not to make yourself an obvious target for harassment.
While commuting between college and home try and find the company of at least one other person you are familiar and comfortable with. Obviously, you need to avoid travelling late at night or taking new shortcuts in unsafe areas.
Basically, if you would not do it at home, you should not do it there. The same intuitive rules that you have followed all these years in India to stay safe will also apply when studying abroad. A lot about staying safe while studying abroad is common sense.
Hotcourses wishes all women students a safe and peaceful stay abroad!