Researching Your Destination

In addition to completing all of the pre-departure steps required by your program, you are highly encouraged to learn as much as you can about your host country and the region where you will be studying.

General Travel Safety

Check out this "Culture of Safety" video produced by UT-Austin. In five minutes, the narrator explains the main principles of staying safe abroad and offers valuable tips and pointers for being aware of your new environment.

Country-Specific Travel Warnings

The State Department assigns every country one of the following four levels:

  1. Exercise Normal Precaution
  2. Exercise Increased Caution
  3. Reconsider Travel
  4. Do Not Travel

Each country also has a narrative description of the security situation and notes if there are regions of the country that have a higher security risk. Countries are searchable by list or map.

  • More detailed information about the security level/considerations for each country
  • A section specifically for students abroad which includes emergency contact numbers by country (think 911), what to do if you are a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or need to be evacuated.
  • An iPhone app with frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, US Embassy locations, and more.

Country Information

CIA World Fact Book
Learn about the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Lonely Planet Travel Guide
Purchase individual chapters or entire guidebooks from a leading travel guide publisher.

Let's Go Travel Guide
Read about your host country in a series of guidebooks written entirely by students and updated every year.

Onlinenewspapers.com
Get a head start on reading your host country’s newspapers.

Carleton's Language Center
View news broadcasts from around the world.

General Resources

    Glimpse
    Offers travel writing, photography, and filmmaking on-line courses through MatadorU.

    Verge
    Explores opportunities to travel with purpose through work, study, and volunteer abroad.

    Culturosity.com
    Check out culture-general and culture-specific resources on photography, movies, and other ways of learning about other cultures.

    Journeywoman
    An excellent resource on women’s travel safety; most tips can apply to men, too!

    Rick Steves's Travel Europe Blog: Tourist Scams and Rip-Offs