Safety Information for American Students Traveling Abroad

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 9, 2011
Travelers Pose for a Photo in Vienna

On February 9, 2011, the Office of the Spokesman released a media note providing safety information for U.S. students traveling abroad:

"As spring break approaches, many students are preparing for a trip abroad. The State Department's website for students traveling overseas provides useful safety and travel information for parents and students alike:

"The majority of students will have safe and enjoyable adventures. However, even on the best-planned trips, things can go wrong. Each year more than 2,500 U.S. citizens are arrested abroad, nearly half of them on narcotics charges, including possession of very small amounts of illegal substances. U.S. citizens have been badly injured or killed in accidents, falls, and other mishaps. Many of these incidents have been linked to alcohol and drug use. Other spring break vacationers have been sexually assaulted or robbed because they found themselves in unfamiliar locales, incapable of protecting themselves because of drug or alcohol use, or because they were victims of a 'date rape' drug.

"The most common cause of death of U.S. citizens overseas, other than natural causes, is by motor vehicle accident. Students traveling abroad should be aware that standards of safety overseas are different from those in the United States.

"We urge all U.S. citizens traveling, studying, or residing abroad to sign up online for our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment makes it possible for the State Department to contact the student traveler in the case of a family emergency in the United States or because of a crisis in a foreign country.

"Please see the Department of Homeland Security's website for more information on the requirements for a passport, passport card, or other approved document to reenter the United States after travel abroad."

You can find the complete statement here.



Chin Y.
New York, USA
February 9, 2011

Chin Y. in New York writes:

Honey, pls read this.

United States
February 10, 2011

Justin in the U.S.A. writes:

Be aware that hotels and hostels fill up faster on the weekends than the weekdays, and you may not be able to find a place to sleep if you do not make bookings. If you can't find a hotel or hostel you may want to leave your bags in a locker in the train station or stay in the train station or other crowded public area. If you can't stay awake coffee and energy drinks help keep you alert. I learned these tips when I was traveling Europe by train and occasionally the Euro-rail workers would go on strike and give me an unexpected stay in an unfamiliar city. The bottom line is to stay in a crowded public area if you can not find a place to sleep.

February 13, 2011

Godwin E. in Nigeria writes:

Good day. I recieved a message on 9 febuary 2011 that I have won Green Card and due to the complicated html it could not displayed on my system as a form, I want to know if it is true am a winner?. Thanks

Nwifor M.
February 14, 2011

Nwifor M. in Nigeria writes:

Hi, i receive an email from USFIS that am one of the luck winner of US green card, and 24 hours later i receive another email from 'department of state' given me guidance on how to process it and also to pay some money. Please help me confirm this infromation from your data base. thanks

DipNote B.
District Of Columbia, USA
February 14, 2011

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Godwin E. and Nwifor M. --

Unfortunately, diversity visa scams have become very common. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to "complete" lottery entry forms. To learn more, please see the Federal Trade Commission Warning. The only official way to apply for the DV lottery is directly through the official U.S. Department of State website during the specified and limited-time registration period.

DV Lottery 2012: Starting on May 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, all entrants may check the status of their entry through the Entry Status Check on the E-DV website Entry Status Check is the ONLY means by which lottery winners/selectees will be notified of their selection for DV 2012! Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified of their selection by e-mail. The Kentucky Consular Center will no longer mail out notification letters to Diversity Visa selectees. Diversity Visa lottery selectees for all previous years have been notified, and those lotteries are CLOSED.


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