monteverde students volunteering with children


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How Students Can Protect Their Safety

Being a student living and studying abroad often requires changes in lifestyle preferences and habits in deference to host country cultural expectations to minimize security risks. Choices in dress, living arrangements, entertainment, and companionship may have a direct impact on how students are perceived, and thus treated, by their communities. Navigating the differences in gender relations may be one of the most sensitive and difficult lessons to learn, but one that can have a direct impact on students’ security and the level of protection provided by the local community. Mature behavior and exercising sound judgment will enhance personal security.  Students are urged to be aware of their environment, adopt a safe lifestyle, and exercise thoughtful judgment to reduce their exposure to risks.

We’ve coached thousands of students on how to stay safe abroad. It takes a combination of attention, intention, and, in some cases, intervention. It’s not rocket science – but it takes an effort to be mindful and alert while you travel. There are always distractions, but you can plan for them and be intentional about protecting yourself and your possessions. It starts by learning to recognize when it’s essential to pay attention, and asking your traveling companions to intervene if they see that you’re not fully engaged with your surroundings.

Before You Depart

europe students relax park bench

Before You Depart

Discuss your travel plans with a CIEE staff member.

Sign up for the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

berlin germany student interns

Safety Tips

Be a smart traveler and follow these safety tips as you travel.

amsterdam netherlands students eating on boat

Student Program Guidelines

Review our student guidelines developed to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 while providing cultural immersion as you discover once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities.

Sexual Assault

CIEE takes the report of any sexual assault extremely seriously, and on-site staff are there to assist you, or someone you know, regardless of your/their physical or assigned program location.  If you or someone you know has been assaulted, please report this immediately to CIEE on-site staff.  CIEE Staff members have on-site sexual assault response protocols to assist survivors of sexual assault whether the survivor wishes to report the incident to local authorities or not.  While we cannot guarantee complete privacy once the report is made to CIEE Staff, we can promise CIEE students that we will handle the matter in extreme confidence and only inform those with a “need-to-know” in order to best support the student. CIEE on-site staff are always available to provide guidance or assistance with medical insurance needs as all students are provided with supplemental travelers medical insurance.  

If you, or someone you know, feels uncomfortable reporting an assault to on-site CIEE Staff, you or they can always contact the CIEE Health, Safety, & Security Team in Portland, Maine directly at

Confidential Resource
To report anonymously/confidentially and independent of CIEE (i.e. it will not be known to CIEE):

  • RAINN: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network: Hotline-800.656.HOPE (4673)
  • Pathways to Safety International / SASHAA: 833-SAFE-833