Traveling Safety

Syracuse Abroad wants you to be aware of some basic precautions for your travel safety and convenience. Most of these require common sense and staying alert.

  • Be informed about current events: Read newspapers and listen to the TV or radio news. There are English-language and international newspapers available at the centers and at kiosks and news stands throughout the cities where are centers are located. If you have questions, check with center staff for advice and travel advisories.
  • Be inconspicuous: Don’t try to draw attention to yourself by looking too “American” or by talking loudly. Try to avoid places frequented by tourists. Don’t put yourself at risk by drinking or staying out after local transportation has stopped running. Learn a few basic language phrases for each country where you plan to travel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Use the basic precautions that are customary in any major city in the world today. Travel with a friend, if possible. Leave a copy of your itinerary with the center staff, your parents, or your hosts. While in a new city, plan your routes and walk confidently. If you are being followed or feel threatened, go into a store or other public area.
  • Stay in touch with Syracuse Abroad: You are required to fill out your center’s travel form before you leave your host city, even if it just for a weekend. Listen carefully to Syracuse Abroad staff regarding pick pockets and specific information about safe and unsafe neighborhoods. Always carry the Syracuse Abroad emergency card with you in case something goes wrong. Make sure you have a charged cell phone (with available minutes) with you at all times so that Syracuse Abroad can reach you if needed.

Returning to the United States

It’s normal to have questions or concerns about US customs and entering the United States after your time abroad. Keep in mind while going through customs:

  • Customs officers are allowed to ask questions, and, in the unlikely event they believe it warranted, send a person to secondary inspection, so know this may be a possibility. Remain calm.
  • Maintain a professional and respectful attitude. Answer all questions asked by authorities. This is not the time to joke around.
  • In the unlikely event you are detained, don’t panic! Contact Syracuse Abroad at any time day or night at 1.800.235.3471 or 315.385.9487.
  • While this is unlikely to occur, if this results in missing your connecting flight, talk to airline staff for assistance with re-booking.

Syracuse Abroad will support you from pre-departure through your travel back home. If you have any concerns about your planned trip or re-entry into your home destination, don’t hesitate to reach out to Assistant Director, Student Services Bridget Demorest.


Airport Security

Added security at international airports has increased the time necessary to check-in, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to go through security checks. All carry-on luggage will be X-rayed and possibly hand-searched. Travelers themselves may be searched.

If you have any questions about how much time to give yourself or what may or may not be carried aboard an airplane, contact the airline directly or check their website. In general, remember the following:

  • Do not leave luggage unattended at any time.
  • Do not pack valuables (passports, documents, contact lenses, medications, etc.) in checked luggage. Keep them in your carry-on bag.
  • If you are bringing medications with you, you should have a doctor’s prescription with them for identification.
  • Don’t carry your passport or money in a hip pocket, open purse, or outside pocket on your backpack. Pick-pockets mingle in tourist crowds.
  • Photocopy the front (data) pages of your passport, or copy the information and keep it separately.