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Abroad Expectations
Remember that life in different countries may be unusual to you. It is the traveler’s responsibility to adjust to the culture where they are staying, not the other way around. Other countries may operate slower or faster, they may have longer or shorter store hours, schools may be run differently, etc. Be sure to research your country so you are not shell-shocked when you arrive. Buy a travel guide or research your destinations online to be prepared.

Safety and Crime
Drug Laws are enforced in virtually every country, and any country can prosecute somebody who violates one of their laws while inside their borders. The laws apply to you in any country you are in; it does not matter if the U.S. does not have that particular law. It is a good idea not to associate yourself with drugs or crime in a foreign country. The U.S. may not be always able to help you.

Petty crime is much higher in other countries than in the United States. Be careful with all your belongings- do not ask people to watch your baggage in the airport and do not put your wallet in an open pocket. Be sure to be aware of your surroundings, just like you would be in the U.S. People may try to distract you in order to take something or if they notice tourists. Carrying a money belt under your clothes that contains your money, passport and other important things is a good idea. Do not bring important documents or large amounts of money out with you unless you need it. Carry a copy of your passport instead of the real thing. Click here to check out the U.S. Department of States Safety Issues when traveling abroad.

Health Issues
When traveling broad, it is important to first get all your medical issues in order. If you have prescriptions, make sure you get enough for the whole trip, as they may not be available in your host country. Check if there are any shots you should get before leaving the country, or once you arrive. Your insurance company will probably cover anything that happens outside of the U.S., but you must contact them and be sure they will cover your travels. If not, anybody can purchase a short-term insurance policy for your time aboard. If something serious happens, a U.S. traveler should contact a U.S. consular officer so they can find the correct hospitals and doctors as well as inform family back in the states. The U.S. Department of State has all this information and more on health issues abroad. Click here to view the information.

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