It is unwise to presume that you the government laws of your own home country can be applicable once you get detained in foreign soil. Surprisingly, there are instances when Americans are left in detention overseas and the numbers are increasing into 2,500 per year. Foreign countries have their own constitution and set of laws, and in the event that you are arrested therein, the only rules that will prevail are theirs. Straightforwardly speaking, the American government cannot shelter you for the unlawful acts you have committed on foreign soil.
The legal procedures with which each country operates on is inimitable. This is precisely why those who plan to study overseas should prepare themselves on realistic expectations. They should be aware of the existing laws and legalities in that specific country and to orient themselves on the procedures that they need to follow at all times. It may be a cliché but it’s true: Ignorance of the Law excuses no one.
The nearest place next to home for foreign students would be the embassy of the United States where the consul’s office is located. During instances of legal problems, the embassy will be able to afford support at a certain level. The embassy cannot be expected to give financial support whatsoever, or to act as lawyers in defense of American students.
The tips below are certainly worth remembering:
Do not isolate yourself and your whereabouts. Always allow people to keep track of your current location, numbers, and email addresses. Provide your family and friends back home with any updates regarding your current situation and affairs.
Your important travel documents should be reproduced in a considerable number of copies and if possible to have them authenticated for verification purposes. You should be able to leave at least one copy back home. In the event of unfortunate circumstances when your passport or other document gets lost, it will be easier for you to present a reproduced copy.
Contact numbers, addresses and the like must be carried around with you at all times. It is also important to add the name of the school, address and its contact number. Wherever you are staying in a foreign country, you must also leave your contact information to your housemates or to the hotel clerk.
Remember that each country has its own set of social norms and customs that any foreign student must be fully aware of. No matter how liberated the culture and social life in the United States may be, there are lifestyles built solidly on tradition in other parts of the world. What is considered to be fine in one country may be taboo in another, and in worse cases violation of their rules could be subject to harsh punishment. As much as possible, you should act in the same manner as anyone else and respect the cultural boundaries of their country.
You can strike up conversations with the local townsfolk and ask for details about the modes of transportations, non-conflict locations, and the like. Always remember to be cautious and to minimize risks as much as you can. Never tempt fate by venturing out alone on one of the most notorious parts of town. As much as these locals may appear harmless, you’ll never know if you’re already treading on restricted grounds. Knowing the native language of the country will allow you to communicate more effectively with the locals.
Do not flaunt your belongings in public, such as your cards, gadgets, wallets, and room keys. If you are unsure about carrying an important thing in public, then don’t. Keep it safe inside your dorm room or hotel room.
A foreign country may experience civil and political discord at one point or another during the course of your stay. Never attempt to participate in one. Keep away from whatever mass actions and conflicts. Keep abreast with the latest societal and political developments of any country and be aware of its historical occurrences and other such data. This will allow you to understand better where all the conflict is coming from, if any.
Following are the suggestions for families of foreign students in ensuring their security at all times:
* Knowledge is everything. Make certain that you are well-informed on the intricacies of the travel or the trip, like its goals, the mode of transportation, and even housing location.
*Be sure that you understand the procedures and processes of the program and that you completely agree to the contract. Leave a clear reproduction of travel documents such as passports with you.
*Carrying a cash card or credit card is better for your student than lugging around huge amounts of cash in another country. A cell phone may come in handy during times of crises. Weigh the pros and cons and come to a more favorable decision.
*Leave your numbers and email addresses to the student and vice versa. You’ll never know the importance of these until your son or daughter is already away on another continent.