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Safety tips for studying abroad

CHINA DAILY | Mon,2017-07-03

Editor's note: The disappearance of Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois, has struck a chord with many people. As the number of Chinese students in the US has grown dramatically in recent years, safety has become one of their greatest concerns. Forum readers share some safety tips to help stay safe while studying abroad.

Chinese Graduates of Columbia University attend the commencement ceremony in New York City, United States, on May 20, 2015.

Chinese Graduates of Columbia University attend the commencement ceremony in New York City, United States, on May 20, 2015.

craig32935 (US)

Learn to defend yourselves and each other. So long as you remain a non-resistant target, you will forever be a target. Also never walk alone on or off campus at night regardless of if you are a guy or girl. Carry some kind of defense item - a knife, can of pepper spray or a stun gun.

Oh and very, very important. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Put the phone away and keep your focus on your environment. There is nothing that important on your phone that cannot wait until you get where you are going.

stevenmon (US)

Never, never, NEVER--and this applies to everyone--go out walking alone at 12:45 am--it is not safe. I think foreign students really need to understand that when they come to America.

fatdragon (UK)

The issue of safety is a long way down the list of priorities for Chinese parents trying to get their children into the USA.

I have walked in the streets of cities, such as Beijing, at all hours of the day and night and never had any problems, something that expats in China comment on frequently when in China.

Yes, some (not all or even a majority) US universities are arguably academically superior to the rest of the world including China but that doesn't make US campuses as safe as or safer than Chinese ones where there are no guns available to the general public.

RonJaDa (Canada)

I believe the feeling of safety is in our minds but true safety comes from due diligence. Applying common sense to minimize the amount of risk you expose yourself to while bravely and boldly living your life and applying yourself. Is it worth the risk to me? The answer is YES. That is why I travel to USA, China, Philippines and other foreign countries. I believe I make a difference not at the national level by myself but together with the outreach of all the other individuals. It combines to make this world a better place, one positive action at a time.

StevenSu (China)

As a parent of a student who is interested in going abroad, I think we need to be more careful in choosing the destination for study abroad, the value for the field of study and the recent news. I'd rather send my child to study in Sweden, UK, Canada that are much safer to study and she can get a quality education.