Safety While Abroad

We work proactively to provide students with access to information about safety in each program location. The Study Abroad Office has emergency policies and procedures that we continuously review and update. The Study Abroad office monitors the world situation daily through available channels, such as the U.S. State Department and the Overseas Security Advisory Council, and conveys any necessary information to our students when the situation requires.

We urge you to pay attention to these guidelines and to exercise the same caution for your safety as you would in the United States, in order to have the best experience possible. Students should be provided with additional detailed safety information upon arrival for their specific destination.


Who to Contact

  1. In an emergency, your first call should be to local authorities or on-site staff as instructed during your on-site orientation upon arrival.
  2. Additionally, you can contact Gonzaga’s Campus Public Safety and Security Department which maintains a 24-hour emergency hotline. Call the hotline at (509) 313-2222 and the Study Abroad Office will get back to you immediately.

Helpful Tip

Know the local emergency numbers for police, fire department and calling an ambulance. Save on-site staff phone numbers and local emergency contact numbers to your phone or keep in your wallet or purse.

Click here to download a PDF with country-specific emergency telephone numbers.

Personal Safety Precautions

  • Safety may look different at home than abroad.
  • Be alert to your surroundings and the people with whom you have contact.
  • Be wary of individuals who seem overly friendly or interested in you.
  • Stay in pairs, never go out alone.
  • Keep valuable items in a safe place.
  • Avoid situations and locations popularly identified with anti-American sentiments (particularly riots and demonstrations).
  • Have phone numbers of program contacts handy at all times.
  • Stay informed by reviewing U.S. State Department Travel Advisories and Security Messages concerning the countries or region to which you will be traveling.
  • Keep informed through radio and television broadcasts, by reading the newspaper, and through on-line news services.
  • Familiarize yourself with the currency before you go.
  • Learn local words/phrase and customs.
  • If a situation doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Alcohol & Drugs

  • You are subject to the laws of your host country, not U.S. laws.
  • If you choose to drink, do so in moderation.
  • Most cultures treat drinking as an accompaniment to social activity, not a way to get drunk.
  • Do not leave drinks unattended.
  • Be aware of the differences in the alcohol content and size of standard drinks abroad.
  • When under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are a more likely target of robbery or sexual crimes.

Sexual Violence

  • Have a safe plan to/from home or travel destinations, particularly at night.
  • Understand your host country’s perceptions, values and attitudes towards sexuality, sex, and gender, particularly when it comes to dress, speech, eye contact, being alone, etc.
  • If you are victim of sexual violence, harassment, or discrimination:
    • There is support for you abroad to assist in getting medical and counseling, help, assistance reporting to the police, and to Title IX (Learn more about Title IX).
    • You are not alone and you do not have to go through this alone. Your support staff on the ground and at GU in Spokane is here to help you have the best experience possible.
  • If you feel that you have experienced gender or sex based discrimination, harassment or sexual violence, there is help. Contact: Stephanie Whaley at or (509) 313-6910 for questions about medical attention, reporting, and confidential support options.
  • If reported to Gonzaga Employees the university cannot release this information to parents or family members. This can only be shared with Gonzaga faculty and staff on a need to know basis.
  • Visit our Sexual Misconduct information page for more information.

Contact the Study Abroad Office

Send a message
AD 85
502 E. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258