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Personal Safety Abroad

by
Jeannie Barry-Sanders

PERSONAL SAFETY IS a basic need, and educators who want
to travel and work abroad must think safety first when travelling
to countries outside of the United States.

“You are much safer in most cities abroad than you are in
most cities in the United States. We have the most violence
of any ‘civilized’ society. Just pick up any newspaper,” says
John Magagna, director of Search Associates, an international
placement firm on the State Department’s list of agencies
that recruit educators for teaching opportunities abroad.

While Magagna may have a valid point, crimes abroad still
happen. The United States State Department Web site reports
consular officers in 1997 received over 14,000 requests for
assistance from Americans abroad. The old adage that it is
better to be safe than sorry still applies. Valuable information
that can assist you in making an informed career decision
about where you want to teach abroad is available at http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html.
This site provides frequently updated information about crime
against visitors to virtually all countries on the globe.
The State Department site also offers listservs to which travelers
can subscribe and receive e-mail updates regarding potential
problems in specific countries. The list that

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