If you’re deep into your revision for your DSEs right now, chances are that you’re not thinking past your next exam. If, however, you plan to continue your studies at a university overseas, then there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. If you’re planning on staying in Hong Kong for the next few years, then these tips will also come in handy for your next holiday.
Photocopy important documents
Make and keep copies of things like your passport, your visas, travel documents, medical insurance, and credit or debit cards. Keep one set at home (or in your student accommodation), and one digital copy on your laptop or in your emails. If you lose your passport or travel documents, then these copies will come in handy when you go to your local embassy to get replacements.
Be aware of your surroundings
There are few cities as safe as Hong Kong, so try to be street smart when you are in a different country. Keep an eye on your belongings when you’re out and about so that you aren’t targeted by pickpockets, and try to avoid being in a strange place at night. Respect late-night curfew laws, if they are in force; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep your family up-to-date
Studying abroad doesn’t mean that you’ll end up spending all your time on academic work. You’ll probably travel to other countries with your friends, and it’ll be easy to think, “I’ll just tell my parents where I’ve been after I’ve returned”. However, it doesn’t take much effort to send a message on WhatsApp, letting your parents know about your travel plans. This will give them a little peace of mind.
No one’s saying you’re not allowed to have fun – if student life wasn’t enjoyable, then perhaps not as many people would sign up for university – but be aware of what’s going on around you when you’re partying. Drink water as often as you can if you’re out with your mates (other beverages don’t count when it comes to staying hydrated!), head home with a friend if it’s late at night or very early in the morning, and notify a member of your crew as soon as you’re safely home.
Make a note of the nearest medical centres and police stations. Hopefully nothing bad will happen, but if the need arises, you know where they are. Also, find out from your university where you can register to see a doctor and a dentist. If you’re travelling, then check out where the nearest drop-in centre, or public hospital is. If you have any allergies or particular medical needs, keep a note about them with you at all times.
Interested to know more about student safety while abroad? Head to the International Student Safety Seminar at YP headquarters in Times Square on April 21. For more details, check out the Facebook events page.