At this time there is no travel warning for France or (anywhere else in Europe) by the State Department. It is definitely a difficult time. With your departure a couple of months away, things will likely settle down quite a bit. The reality of it is that France is probably one of the safest places to be at right now. I encourage students to add BBC news outlet to your list of media to follow. Often US media has a habit of sensationalizing things. Not to diminish what has happened, but I also don’t want people to be overly on edge because of our medias’ need to fill their news cycle.
Here are some general safety tips and resources that apply to all students studying and traveling abroad. I’ve included some top resources and links below.
- Be sure to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By providing the details of your trip (even weekend trips) and identifying information, the nearest US embassy or consulate can reach them in case of emergency. STEP will also send them travel warnings and other information about your destination.
- Know the address and phone number of the nearest US embassy or consulate (find a comprehensive list here). Available 24/7, this is where you’ll go if you lose your passport, are the victim of a crime, or need medical care.
- Print and complete an emergency wallet card provided by the US State Department so you’ll have emergency contact information, including your medical insurance information and local US consulate, with you at all times.
The FBI developed a safety and security brochure that provides a great overview of tips for students traveling abroad. Download it today for distribution to students.
I would also encourage students to get the “What’s App” app for whatever phone you end up having. This will be a free way to keep in constant contact with friends and family back home. Also, email me your phone number that you will use in country so I can get in touch if need be. Please remember to frequently check your ISU email.
Feel free to come in and chat in person if you would like to. I hope this has answered any questions you might have about your time abroad.