Skip to content

Safety Abroad

The University of Wisconsin-Stout takes all reasonable steps to help students be safe during their study abroad program. The Office of International Education regularly and responsibly monitors safety issues in each of UW-Stout's study abroad program locations. 

However, the most important person responsible for keeping safe is you, the student. You are responsible for reviewing the safety information provided to you by UW-Stout and your program provider; you are responsible for handling the advice provided by local staff about how to stay safe abroad, particularly when on your own; and you are responsible for any poor choices you make that may jeopardize your health or safety, or the health and safety of those around you.

Research the risks and be informed
Crime knows no boarders; it takes place around the world. It is important to check the facts about the area that you will be studying in. Research current events, customs and culture, politics, economics, history, religion, geography, and climate. Read about the everyday behaviors and practices of the people. Helpful resources include: The U.S. Department of StateThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and travel guides, books and websites focused on living abroad. 

Register your travel
Once you have been accepted to study abroad and have finalized your travel arrangements, we strongly encourage you to take a few moments and register yourself with the local U.S. Embassy in your host country and enroll your travel dates in the U.S. Department of State Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP). Once you register your travels with the U.S. Embassy, you will receive updates on the most current information about the country(ies) where you will be traveling or living. The local Embassy will also be able to provide better assistance in the case of an emergency, whether it is a natural disaster or your passport is lost or stolen. This is essential for both short and long-term programs.


Get to know your surroundings

Get to know the neighborhood that you will be in. Stay away from high-crime areas or if you must go, take a trusted local friend along with you. It is recommended to wander in well-lit areas and with others in a a group. Be sure to notify friends and/or family of your whereabouts when traveling or visiting other areas. 

Avoid carrying important or valuable items
We encourage you to leave anything valuable at home however for those valuable items that you must bring with, leave these in a safe location when going out. For example, keep your passport in a safe location in your home however, a photocopy of your passport should be carries or saves as an electronic photo with you. 

Be aware of the local laws
Some countries' laws are extremely strict, and there may be no way to plea or bargain out of being caught; ignorance is not an excuse. While studying abroad you are subject to the laws of the country. Students who violate the law may have to face legal proceedings in the local judicial system, which may not provide the same safeguards for those accused of crime as the U.S. system. If convicted of a crime, you will face punishment according to the local practices. If you are arrested abroad, the U.S. Consular Officer can visit you in jail, give you a list of local attorneys, notify family and/or friends, protest to mistreatment or abuse to local authorities, and see that your rights under local laws are fully observed. However, they CANNOT demand your immediate release, get you out of jail, represent you at trial or give you legal counsel, or pay legal fees/fines with U.S. Government funds. 

Be aware of legal matters back home
UW-Stout students are expected to behave in a responsible and mature manner while abroad. In addition to the local laws of the countries in which you study, you are also subject to the rules of the institution you are enrolled in, and the rules of University of Wisconsin-Stout. In general, disciplinary action under the UWS Administrative Code may be taken for one year after the alleged misconduct occurs. Records of any disciplinary actions overseas become a part of a student’s disciplinary file at the Dean of Students Office and are communicated to the University of Wisconsin-Stout Discipline Officer. Be aware of the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code/Policies:
UWS Chapter 14—Academic Misconduct (GPA standards, plagiarism, etc.).
UWS Chapter 17—Non-academic Misconduct (illegal drug use and alcohol, dangerous conduct or violation of university rules and criminal law).

While it is impossible to fully guarantee safety anywhere in the world, UW-Stout's top priority is to ensure the safety of our students. To minimize risk, UW-Stout and the OIE take the following measures:
  • Closely monitor numerous information and intelligence services for updates and reports on countries where we operate programs. Please refer to the resources page to see the sources that are included in this. 
  • Enroll all students in Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) medical and accident insurance, which includes a Security Evacuation Benefit. 
  • Maintain a 24/7 on-call emergency response team comprised of OIE staff members and supported by UW-Stout Campus Police, the Dean of Students Office, the Provost's Office, and other relevant offices.