How to Stay Safe While Studying Abroad

Graphics and Words by Caitlin Chuah

Though many of the world’s top study destinations, such as Australia, UK, Singapore, Canada etc, are considered much safer than Malaysia, it’s important to acknowledge that there will always be a small threat of danger. While we certainly hope that these situations won’t arise, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Below are a few easy ways to prevent yourself from becoming more vulnerable than necessary or putting yourself into potentially harmful situations.

1. Never Walk Alone at Night

This one goes without saying, but always ensure that you have a friend or two with you if ever need to walk about at night. The larger your travel ensemble, the safer you will be, because if anything happens, touch wood, at least you will have someone to help you. Additionally, stick to well-lit and busy areas and stay on the part of the sidewalk that is farthest away from shrubs, dark doorways and alleys.

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2. Create a “Buddy-System”

If possible, choose a trusted friend and consistently text them your whereabouts. Share your class/activities schedule with them and always update them if you decide to go out anywhere. This “buddy-system” will ensure that your network of friends is constantly in contact with each other and can step in to help if anything unwanted occurs.

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3. Follow Safety Protocols at Parties or Night-Outs

As a college/university student, you’re bound to attend some parties or night-outs, and that’s perfectly okay! However, please adhere to the following tips to ensure your safety while you have fun:

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Go to the toilet in pairs or groups
  • Avoid being too inebriated and losing control
  • Never stay at a party when your friend leaves
  • Don’t ever drink and drive
  • Don’t accept if a stranger offers to buy you a drink
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4. Utilize locks

Always lock your car, room and windows at any given moment. Many students tend to leave their door unlocked if they are expecting a visitor or if they are going to be away for just a minute. Many thefts occur during these times. Additionally, do not lend your key to anyone and always re-key your lock if your key has been stolen. Furthermore, do not leave any identification, wallets, cheque-books, jewellery, cash and other valuables in open view.

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5. Carry Self-Defence Tools

Pepper spray and a whistle are essential items that everyone should carry along in their bags. Additionally, a car window-breaker and seatbelt-cutter are also great tools that will help in dangerous situations. Obviously, the hope is that you’d never need to make use of these defence mechanisms, however, having them with you will make a life-saving difference in harmful situations.

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If you have any questions or inquiries regarding your tertiary education, feel free to contact us. Our services include: education and career counselling, assistance in college/university applications, student visa application, arranging accommodation and more!

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