BEFORE YOU GO:
Following these steps will help make your trip safer and will make you a more informed and prepared traveler!
The safety and security of our students is our utmost priority for Colby and all study abroad program providers with whom we work. National and international security issues necessitate that you respect safety recommendations and security policies established by your sponsoring organization and the U.S. Embassy in the country of your destination. Remain attentive to information provided to you and stay in contact with your program, Colby College, and your family throughout the duration of your study abroad program. You and your family can monitor State Department updates and review Colby College updates and policies below.
For a listing of countries currently at U.S. State Dept. Travel Advisory Level 3, consult the U.S. State Department web site.
While there is no reason to assume that going abroad will compromise your safety, students must be sure to follow safety guidelines provided by their program at all times. They must also take personal responsibility for informing themselves of risks in locations in which they might study or travel; a good source of basic information is the U.S. Department of State web site.
The program/university with which the student studies will likely go over security policies and advice in depth during their orientation and we advise you to follow these carefully. Always inform the program’s resident director or contact person at the university of any incidents that may arise.
Note: The US State Department has advised Americans traveling anywhere to remain inconspicuous for their own safety, and we strongly support this advice. You are advised to keep a “low profile” wherever you may travel. Pay attention to culturally appropriate dress and behavior. Keep your voice down and avoid congregating in large, noisy groups, and avoid US entities considered symbols of US capitalism. Use restraint in situations that could get out of hand; your personal safety is far more important than your “honor” or your need to express yourself.
Colby College does not allow travel to countries at a Level 4 Advisory and discourages travel to countries and participation in programs at Level 3. Students wishing to travel to a country currently at a Level 3 Advisory are required to submit a petition to the Travel Advisory Review Committee providing a complete description of and justification for their study/travel at a Travel Advisory Level 3 site. Please contact OCS for a copy of the Travel Advisory Petition guidelines by writing to us at [email protected] If approved, the student and his/her parents will then be required to sign a second waiver as part of the application for approval process.
For a listing of countries currently under Travel Advisory Level 3, consult the U.S. State Department website.
In the event that a country increases to a Level 3 Advisory after a student has been approved, the student will be required to submit a petition, and sign a second waiver, in order to proceed as planned. Please contact OCS at [email protected] for petition guidelines.
Students on programs already in session when a Level 3 Advisory is issued will not be required to return, but will be advised of the Travel Advisory by the OCS office and will be required to follow the guidance provided by their program.
While you are abroad, you are subject to the laws of the country you are in, not those of the US or your home country. If you are arrested, your home country embassy can only ensure that you receive equal treatment under the terms of local law and procedure. You should always, in all circumstances, treat the police with respect and produce any document they may request, without confrontation. Do not expect that Colby College or your home country’s embassy can exert any pressure to extricate you from a situation which results from your own inattention to, or disrespect for, the laws of another country.
We suggest that you prepare all your emergency contacts and information in one place so it is handy when needed. Copy down all names, phone numbers, postal and e-mail addresses of people with whom you might need to contact while abroad.
In case of a program-related, health-related, or personal concern or emergency, your first step is to inform your program director.
Colby does not support students using independent housing for reasons of safety, security and cultural engagement. Neither the provider nor Colby will be in the position to provide resources or support in an emergency or otherwise, if a student lives in housing independent of the program. Students are expected to follow their provider’s housing policies.
Review Colby’s Director of Information Security TIPS how to protect data on your computers, laptops, phones and other devices here.
If you choose to travel independently during your semester, please follow your program’s guidelines and:
You should also be aware of the following reasonable precautions for traveling:
Colby’s policy is to respect the laws of the host countries of its programs. Where it is not legal to use drugs, including marijuana, do not do so. Most programs have a zero tolerance policy concerning drugs. If a student is caught using illegal drugs, either by the police or by the resident director, that student may be sent home immediately, without prior notice, and with no credit or refund of fees. Students caught selling illegal drugs may be dismissed from the program and from Colby College.
If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, be aware that you must know your limits and be moderate in your use of alcohol. Excessive consumption will jeopardize your health and physical safety, and can lead to unsafe (or embarrassing) situations. Most student incidents that occur are usually alcohol-related. The director of your program will usually have the authority to dismiss students from the program for violation of the alcohol and drug policy. If a student is expelled from the program, the student may be sent home with no credit and no refund of fees. Colby takes the alcohol policy very seriously, and asks students to take it seriously as well.
All students studying on Colby programs abroad are subject to the laws of the host country, including those pertaining to alcohol and/or drug purchase and/or consumption. Additionally, Colby College responds to the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act (DFSCA) by implementing measures to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs by students, faculty, and staff, on campus as well as on College sponsored programs abroad. The following has been excerpted from the Colby College student handbook and clearly states the College’s position on alcohol abuse:
“Students are adults and are thus expected to obey the law and to take personal responsibility for their conduct. Colby does not police students’ personal lives on or off the campus, but disciplinary action will result if a students’ use of alcohol creates disorder, public disturbances, danger to himself or herself and others, or property damage. Similarly, hosts of parties or sponsoring organizations may be held accountable for violations by the College and by civil authorities under Maine law.”
Please refer to the Colby College student handbook for complete details of U.S. laws and applicable legal sanctions.
While participating on Colby sponsored programs abroad, adherence to the U.S. and Maine laws shall be interpreted in the following manner: