The allure of studying abroad is potent. Students dream of unique cultural experiences, the chance to master a foreign language, and forming international friendships. It is why over the past two years, among student travel abroad programs, 83% of institutions noted an increase in numbers compared to previous years. Studying abroad is back! However, with the thrill of exploring unknown territories comes potential dangers like cultural misunderstandings, crimes, kidnappings, and scams.
Understanding the Risks of Studying Abroad
The essence of studying abroad lies in immersing oneself in a different cultural milieu. While most of these experiences are enriching, it’s also a fact that students can become targets. Tourist hotspots often have pickpockets, while certain regions might be notorious for scams targeting foreigners. Kidnappings, though rarer, are genuine threats in some parts of the world. These hazards underscore the vital need for travel security measures and student awareness. Reading about potential threats is not enough. Proactive measures and an understanding of the culture and security situations of the country the student is visiting are key parts of investing in safety ahead of time.
The Reality of Safety Concerns Abroad
A significant study in the Journal of Studies in International Education spotlighted the criminal victimization rates among study-abroad students. While the victimization rates for severe crimes were low, there were moderate to high incidents of sexual harassment, unwanted touching, and property theft without the use of force.
The online survey reportedly encapsulated the experiences of approximately 1,000 undergraduate study-abroad students from three private colleges and two study-abroad providers, and highlighted several areas of concern. It was not just the overtly criminal behaviors that students reported; noncriminal forms of sexual harassment, which have known negative impacts on students, were also prevalent.
The study’s findings pointed to public spaces as the most common venues where students experienced theft, physical assault, or sexual harassment. Bars and nightclubs were hotspots for sexual assaults. Students often identified locals as the perpetrators, except in property theft cases.
The data also painted a diverse picture when it came to gender-specific victimization. Women, who made up 86% of the respondents, were more inclined to report instances of sexual harassment. Conversely, men reported higher incidents of physical assaults or thefts.
Geography played a role as well. Students in Africa and South America were more likely to report criminal victimization than their counterparts in Asia, Australia, and Europe.
The Role of Safety Apps in Modern Travel
In our digital age, safety apps for travelers (as well as safety apps for employees on work trips abroad) have emerged as essential tools to face such issues while overseas. Such travel safety apps cater to various needs – from offering local emergency numbers to sharing real-time locations during crises. Students, given their often-adventurous nature, can particularly benefit from these apps. Safety apps for college students are thus not just tools but lifelines in unfamiliar terrains. They allow you to be have a recourse in the event of anything unexpected happening.
Deep Dive into FoneTrac
Among the myriad of safety apps out there, FoneTrac distinguishes itself. Especially if one’s search revolves around the best travel safety apps for Android and iPhone, with ease of use and minimal oversight as primary conditions, FoneTrac often tops the list. Here’s why:
Universality: No additional hardware or services are required. It’s available on all major platforms, ensuring widespread access. Super quick to get started with a plan that’s right for you.
Dual Core Functions: With “Check-In” and “Panic Alert,” students have a two-fold safety net. Regular check-ins bring peace to worried parents or group leaders miles (or oceans) away, while the panic alert ensures rapid assistance during emergencies.
Prompt Communication: Upon triggering an emergency alert, FoneTrac communicates immediately with a US-based Emergency Control Center, as well as other points of escalation. This ensures quick, efficient, coordinated, and knowledgeable responses to crises from the start till resolution. This has been used in the past by clients during natural disasters, threats of terrorist attacks, and petty street crimes.
Navigating Safety with FoneTrac’s Features
Check-In and Emergency Panic Alert: A harmonious blend of autonomy and security. Student travel abroad programs, or solo travelers, can enjoy their adventures without the overbearing feeling of being watched, able to summon help when needed.
Itinerary Tracking: FoneTrac’s itinerary tracking ensures that one’s travel plans are known, making it easier to locate and assist during emergencies.
Destination Threat Monitoring: This proactive feature ensures students are forewarned about potential threats in their vicinity.
GlobalSecur World Assistance: Privacy meets safety. Share your location only during emergencies, ensuring a respectful balance, and get the help you need, when you need it. Contact us for more information.
Comparison with Other Safety Apps
While many apps offer tracking and alerts, FoneTrac combines these with worldwide emergency support capabilities and respect for privacy. These aspects of the patented app make it an excellent choice, not just for students but as a safety app for employees traveling to work as it has historically been used. Its responsive nature and the backing of IMG’s security experience set it leagues apart. This is not just an app – it is worldwide support backed by the knowledge of three decades of risk management and security consultation experience.
The Significance for Parents and Guardians
Let’s face it. For parents sending their children miles away, the uncertainty can be nerve-wracking. We’ve even covered this in other blogs. However, tools like FoneTrac offer more than just features – they offer solace. Knowing that your child can immediately alert professionals during emergencies or regularly check in provides immeasurable peace of mind. Whether a crime or natural disaster, your child can receive support and help quickly.
The world is vast, filled with wonders waiting to be explored. As students embark on their educational journeys abroad, their safety remains paramount. Amidst the myriad of potential dangers – from petty crimes to grave threats like kidnappings – having a reliable tool like FoneTrac can be life-altering. As it has with traveling employees, this app ensures that students can explore with confidence, backed by a robust safety net with years of experience in travel security services and crisis management.