Traveling abroad always carries risks, but there are a number of ways to minimize your exposure to potential issues.

Pre-Departure Handbook

Includes information on personal safety, terrorism, racial and sexual harassment, and other topics.

Download Handbook

Travel Alerts

Info from the U.S. Department of State about short-term conditions that pose significant risks to the security of U.S. citizens.

View Travel Alerts

ACE Travel Assistance

A service provided to all traveling on behalf of the College which assist in medical, personal, or other emergencies.

Plan Details

Smart Traveler Program

Register your trip with the U.S. Department of State so they may more easily assist you in an emergency.



  • Terrorism & Related Concerns

    Recent incidents of terrorist activity around the world have created the need for increased levels of vigilance when traveling abroad. The decision to study or travel abroad in a particular country is a personal one, which is made by each individual. It is regrettable that we must live with the fact that nowhere in the world, including the U.S., can one expect a totally safe environment. Neither can we predict future events or give guarantees about the course of events in the world. As a result of these concerns and our experiences in dealing with these kinds of issues, the International Academic Programs Office has made it a practice to explain our policy regarding safety and international study.

    We consult regularly with colleagues around the country who are involved in the administration of study abroad programs, with program directors, with responsible officials of host universities, and with contacts in the U.S. State Department and other government agencies. In addition, we consult with other experts, including our own faculty, who keep well informed on issues and events in the locations of our approved programs. Our ability to communicate almost instantaneously worldwide via electronic mail and fax machines enables us to obtain and share information quickly and efficiently with colleagues in the event of an emergency at an international study site that may have repercussions for international academic programs. In short, we use an effective system of consultation and consensus of informed opinion in making decisions concerning the safety of our students abroad.

  • What to Do in an Emergency

    If you encounter an emergency while traveling, take the following steps:

    1. Where serious injury or illness has occurred, immediately seek medical treatment at the nearest medical facility. If medical service is not available, contact ACE Travel Assistance at +1 (202) 659-7803.
    2. If on a program, contact your on-site organizer.
    3. Call Haverford College Campus Safety at +1 (610) 896-1111 at any hour. Students should also notify their parents or guardians.
    4. For medical emergencies, notify either Haverford College Health Services at +1 (610) 896-1089 or your personal health care provider.
    5. Contact the nearest US Embassy or consular service.

    For smaller emergencies, contact your on-site program director or the Haverford department through which you are traveling.

  • Travel Warnings

    Sometimes the College finds it appropriate to advise students to decline participation in an officially recognized study abroad program or destination due to war, political unrest, social instability, contagious disease control, military operations, election-related demonstrations or violence, natural disasters, terrorism concerns, etc. within the host country.

    View the Policy
  • Basic Safety Guidelines
    • Keep a low profile and try not to make yourself conspicuous by dress, speech, or behavior. Do not wear obviously American style clothing, particularly American sweatshirts, T-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. Be polite, low-key, and sensitive to customs.
    • Avoid crowds, protests, or other potentially volatile situations, including restaurants and entertainment places where Americans are known to congregate. Be especially alert when you must cross/enter a crowd.
    • Be wary of receiving unexpected packages and stay clear of unattended luggage or parcels in areas of uncontrolled public access. Report such items to security. Do not leave your luggage unattended at any time.
    • Use common sense in divulging personal information about you, your program, and your fellow students. Keep your residence area locked.
    • Make sure the resident director, host family, or roommate knows where you are and how to contact you in an emergency. Leave a copy of your itinerary with your roommates and/or program director when you travel.
    • Have access to sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket quickly, if necessary. Travel with several small passport-sized photos, and make copies of your passport. Keep your passport and other critical travel documents in a money belt on your person.
  • Road Safety

    Be extremely cautious when handling road safety in foreign countries. Roads in many places can be exceedingly dangerous, especially for tourists and foreign students. In certain countries, like the UK, Ireland, and Australia, the flow of traffic is opposite that of the US. Pay attention to cross section signs and postings, and research traffic patterns and highway conditions of countries you hope to visit. Choose safe transportation, avoid night travel in countries with poor safety records, and stay alert while walking or biking near or on roads. Most importantly, students should never drive abroad. For more information regarding road safety in specific countries, contact Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) before traveling.

  • Health Safety

    Check out the Health page for information on health-related issues to consider before and while you are abroad. You will need insurance during your travel away. Be sure that you have adequate coverage that protects you while abroad.

  • Personal Safety

    Cultural differences between the US and your host country may be noticeable, and you should feel prepared to be treated differently. Depending on the country and region in which you travel, your behavior and dress could be interpreted in a manner you were not intending. Women and LGBTQ travelers particularly may experience different expectations and treatment. Conduct yourself with discretion: be aware of your surroundings, sensitive to other standards, and do your research on the culture you will be entering.

    FBI Student Travel Brochure