Traveling Abroad for Spring Break? Who to call in an emergency

The U.S. State Department has developed a webpage for students traveling abroad.  It contains an emergency list of contacts with all “911” numbers around the world.  Check out the country where you’ll be traveling and make note of the emergency number.  Also keep on hand the U.S. State Department American Citizen Services numbers for your destination country.  Look up travel warnings and contact details here. The LA Times today summarized recent worldwide travel warnings and advice for students traveling abroad.  Good stuff!  Stay safe and travel...
Arrested abroad?  Who to call first

Arrested abroad? Who to call first

According to the U.S. State Department, more than 2,500 Americans are arrested abroad annually.  Each country has different rules and systems for handling arrested persons.  Some countries follow their laws closely, others do not.  PRI provides information on different country laws and how they are applied. But who do you call first if you are a U.S. citizen detained abroad?  Assuming you get a phone call or two (we hope that you do), here are some basic guidelines on how to let others know of your situation: Tell the U.S. Department of State.  Their American Citizen Services representatives can visit you or try to help you get legal counsel.  If you don’t get a phone call, at least ask the prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately that you are in jail.  The State Department will probably not provide you with any legal advice or try to get you out of jail, but at least they will be able to provide information to your family if contacted and they may also be able to assist you if the prison conditions are poor.  They may also be able to help you find a lawyer.  We have found that the State Department will not be especially interested in the merits of your case or the charges against you – focus on having the State Department help get your basic needs met.  You may find an officer with a sympathetic ear, but it is unlikely he or she will actually assist in proving your innocence. Here is a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates The State Department also provides...