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Emergency Information

What is an emergency?

An emergency is a situation affecting the health, safety and/or security of a participant on a UNA Study Abroad program.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

After attending to the immediate needs of the person(s) affected, call the appropriate UNA emergency assistance number.

Emergency Assistance Numbers

DURING OFFICE HOURS (8:00 am - 4:30 pm CST): Office of International Affairs office hours, call the OIA Front Desk: (256)765-4626.

OUTSIDE OF OFFICE HOURS: Call the University of North Alabama Police Department: (256)765-4357. They will contact an Office of International Affairs staff member.

Safety Guidelines

Become familiar with your “home base” as quickly as possible. Also familiarize yourself with cities you will visit before you begin to explore. Consider purchasing a travel guide before leaving the U.S.

Most cities have their "safe" and "unsafe" neighborhoods. Find out what areas to avoid by asking at an information booth in a train station or airport. Do not take risks.

Safety precautions specifically for American students studying abroad for a semester, year or traveling alone

  • Keep a low profile. Do not attract attention to yourself by speaking English loudly in public spaces, wearing expensive-looking jewelry or behaving in ways that might identify you as a potential target for criminals or terrorists.
  • Avoid crowds, protest groups and other potentially volatile situations, as well as places where Americans are known to congregate.
  • Be wary of receiving unexpected packages, and stay clear of unattended luggage or parcels in public areas.
  • Report to the responsible authority any suspicious persons loitering around residential or instructional facilities. Keep your residence area locked, and use common sense when divulging information about your program or fellow students.
  • Register online with the U.S. Department of State's secure travel registry, or make arrangements to register upon arrival at the U.S. consulate or embassy.
  • Make sure the faculty advisor, resident director, host family or foreign university official always knows where and how to contact you in an emergency and knows your schedule and travel itinerary.
  • Develop a plan with your family for regular telephone contact.
  • Check travel advisories for any country you visit.

Street smarts

Be cautious when meeting new people. Don’t give out your address and phone number to strangers or divulge too much personal information. When you are withdrawing money from an ATM or receiving wired money, go with a friend who will help you stay alert to your surroundings.

Taxis are not safe everywhere, especially late at night. Inquire about this. In some places, women do not ride in taxis by themselves. In many cities, taxis have become so dangerous that people use a taxi calling service to get the names of reputable companies and order cabs from them. When you call a taxi, make sure that the taxi has a meter and a radio and is identified with a number or other information. Do not flag down a taxi, and do not hitchhike.

In general, avoid frequenting well-known American hangouts (restaurants, bars, consulates and embassies, etc.). Especially avoid these places if there is a terrorist threat or the U.S. has just participated in some military action. During times of international crisis, many U.S. embassies and consulates are picketed and threatened.

Do not be afraid to be assertive when confronted with unwanted situations. Do not let anyone push you into taking risks. If you feel unsafe, you probably are. Listen to your instincts.

Your risk of being in danger increases if you are:

  • Intoxicated;
  • Alone at night, especially after midnight;
  • Alone in an isolated area;
  • Alone in a high-crime area;
  • Asleep in an unlocked place;
  • Out after a local curfew;
  • New to the country;
  • Unable to speak the local language; or
  • In a new place and making new friends.