How to Stay Safe While Teaching English Abroad
Along with the excitement of traveling to a foreign country, you may also experience feelings of fear and anxiety over your personal safety and environment. Considering that you are essentially moving to a country with a foreign culture to yours, it is understandable to be a little bit apprehensive of what you’ll find when you get there especially when you don’t know anyone there.
No country is completely devoid of threats. But it is important to realize that some countries are far safer than the United States although there are still some things you can do to ensure your own personal safety. Some of these things include the following as recommended by The TEFL Academy
Do Your Research
Before you decide to travel to any country, it is a good idea to research any safety issues that may be of concern. Find out which cities in that country are safer to visit and which neighborhoods are safe. You may also want to find out other information such as political, cultural and religious sensitivities that may cause a security concern. Most of this information can be found online.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Use Common Sense
Just being alert is probably the best way to prevent any type of attack on you. Awareness allows you to take action to avoid someone or a situation that can harm you. Don’t forget to always trust your instincts. When your hackles rise and you feel that pit in your stomach, it is time to move away from that person or situation.
Separate Your Money and Keep a Record of your Basic Financial Information
If you put all your cash and debit cards in your purse and it gets stolen then you are in trouble. A better idea would be to separate your cash and always keep a separate credit card for emergencies. It is also a good idea to keep all the information about your financial records separately so that if you lose our cards, you have the relevant information to get them back. Scan a copy of all your important documents including your passport and email them to yourself. This way, you will have proof of identity if they get lost.
Don’t Flaunt Valuables
When in public, avoid flashing expensive camera and jewelry as this makes you a target. Dress in a simple way especially if you are in a neighborhood that you know is not very safe. Advertising your valuables to the locals makes you a target for thieves. If possible, leave your valuable jewelry at home when you travel overseas and keep your camera in your bag when you are not using it.
Even if your surroundings are unfamiliar to you, it is important to act and look confident. People who look clueless are often an easy target for thieves and pick-pockets. If you look like you belong, you are less likely to fall victim to fraudsters who will rip you off financially.
Learn from the Locals
When you befriend locals, they can be a great source of information about which areas of the country are unsafe and should be avoided. They will also help you by showing you how to safely navigate the city’s public transport systems and what to avoid.
Travel with Someone Else
If you can, the best way to remain safe is to travel in a group. This is especially a good idea when you are in public during the evening.