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Tips for Trips & Study Abroad: China

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Tips for Trips and Study Abroad

Tips for Trips & Study Abroad: China

Be smart. Be Subtle. Be Safe.

INFO: Know Before You Go
While China is generally considered safe, the country is not without certain risks − especially for student travelers.

Familiarize yourself with Chinese customs and regulations, but understand that the legal system can be opaque and the enforcement of laws arbitrary. Above all, China aims to preserve social harmony by limiting political dissent and unrest.

Have no expectations of privacy in public or private locations, and be prepared for heightened scrutiny and surveillance. Hotel rooms, residences, and offices may be accessed without the occupant’s knowledge or consent. 

TECH: Don't Need It, Leave It

The Chinese government has publicly declared that it regularly monitors private email traffic and Internet browsing.

Remove personal and sensitive information from your devices before you travel. If you must bring laptops or cell phones, keep them in your possession at all times.

Do not accept free thumb drives, open suspicious links, or connect to unsecured wireless networks. Protect your electronics with up-to-date anti-virus software.

Understand that many news and social media websites (e.g., Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) are blocked in China, and plan accordingly.

SCAMS: Don't Fall For It
Be cautious
(but courteous) with strangers who randomly express an interest in speaking with you − such as requesting to “practice English” or “share tea.” Always ask the price before enjoying drinks, meals, or other services to avoid exorbitant fares.

Use only authorized taxis and trusted ride-share services. Have your destination written down in English & Chinese.

Know what Chinese money looks like, and watch for counterfeit currency. Consider carrying small bills or using exact change, especially when using taxis. Monitor your financial accounts for signs of fraudulent activity.

Be wary of suspicious calls in which callers pose as police. Never wire money to unknown or unverified recipients.

INTEL: Reduce Vulnerability

Be aware that your conversations and communications are not private, and safeguard sensitive information. Even if you don’t consider the content of your emails, contacts, or calendars to be “secrets,” foreign intelligence operatives may still find such information valuable.

Be mindful of strangers and acquaintances who probe you for information or attempt to get you involved in what could become a compromising situation.

Avoid gossiping about your fellow classmates or criticizing your program or country. Information from these conversations could be used for exploitation or blackmail.



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