Tips to Stay Safe Abroad

  • Research the Political and Public Health Climate
  • Get to Know the Public Transportation
  • Keep a List of Contacts for Emergencies
  • Learn the Laws for Common Social Practices
  • Blend In

For Westerners like you who have the chance to live in a new country, safety tips for working abroad are generally the first search on the internet. The idea of working abroad is growing, so learning as much as you can about working in a new country is going to make your first few weeks in the country a little easier. Read on to learn five tips for staying safe when you work abroad.

1. Research the Political and Public Health Climate

One of the best tips for staying safe while working abroad is to become familiar with both the political and public health climate of the country you are going to be residing in. You should know the health risks of the area, including any epidemics that are currently affecting the area. You should also research the political climate, including the stability of the government, any civil unrest issues, human rights violations, and more. By informing yourself before moving to an area for work, you will be better prepared to deal with the risks and situations that may arise.

2. Get to Know the Public Transportation

A top safety tip for working abroad is to become familiar with the public transportation in your area, including buses, trains, subways, monorails, and more. This is because the majority of accidents involving Westerners happen when you try to drive yourself in a different country or are in a taxi. Learning public transportation is key to your safety for another reason; research which lines in your city have the most pickpockets and which are relatively safe for Westerners. While subways and trains can get you from one place to another, if you're not aware of your surroundings, you could end up in the middle of a mugging or even be robbed without realizing it until it's too late.

3. Keep a List of Contacts for Emergencies

When working abroad, one of the first safety tips you need to commit to memory is that you must always be aware of the contacts and addresses of US government officials in case of an emergency. Research your country and find out where your local embassy is, along with any phone numbers listed on your home country's government website that could be useful for you while you work abroad. For added security, find out where the local country's closest police departments, hospitals, and clinics are before you get there; having this information on hand, and on your cell phone, will be of tremendous value should you find yourself in need of help.

4. Learn the Laws for Common Social Practices

The laws for common social practices, such as public intoxication, driving, public transportation, and dealing with the country's government, is critical to your safety in a new country. More often than not, the common social practices you are familiar with in your country will not be shared with the country you will be working in, so educating yourself on social norms is one of the top tips in order to stay safe. The laws may also come with fines or jail time, something that even diplomacy may not spare you from, so follow the laws as soon as you touch ground in the country you'll be working in.

5. Blend In

Blend in as best you can is one of the top safety tips for working abroad. This includes dressing as the locals, following common social practices, speaking the native language, eating and socializing with co-workers, and more. By blending in, you will become less of a target for pickpockets and muggers as well as avoid situations that put you in real danger. Try finding out as much as you can about local life before heading to your new country so that you arrive already feeling like a local.

Working in a new country can be an incredible experience. You will be expanding your career and your networks while working outside of your comfort zone. By keeping these five safety tips for working abroad in mind, you will be well on your way to begin your adventure in a new country in a well-informed and prepared way.

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