While studying abroad, I stay in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States – Oakland. It is a large city located right next to San Francisco, California. I am staying here because my relatives live here. It is expensive to live alone as an international student, so I have to stay at my relatives’ house while pursuing my education goals. As a girl, I am a little bit scared honestly. Therefore, right now, I am offering some tips to you (yes, you the girl who are having the same situation as me) to avoid potential dangers. Stay safe!
1. Get A Driver License ASAP
Everything goes well with a driver license. If you do have one, you may want to skip some of the following tips. A driver license will help you to get to anywhere you want, at anytime. You might think UBER works the same way too, but hey, does hopping alone onto a car with an unknown driver sounds nice? Especially you are a girl, so it’s better to take more precautions. However, if you are like me, who also does not own a driver license, keep reading the following tips.
2. Avoid Going Out At Night
It sounds sad to not going to those night parties, where you can make a lot of new friends. I am not saying you cannot go, but be aware. Before you go, you should think about how you are going to go back home. After having a blast with your friends at night, should you walk home alone under the dark sky? NO. You may want to politely ask your trusted friend to drive you home. For me, since the place of where I live is very far from my friends’ homes, sometimes I stay at their places overnight and go back home in the next morning. Remember, TRUSTED friends. And never try walking alone on the street in the dark. NEVER.
3. Know The Sunset Time
In my place, we have daylight saving time. Therefore, the sunset time is different during different times of the year. If you are taking the bus and are in the middle on your way home when the sun comes down, everything will turn dark very fast. It doesn’t sound a nice event, does it? It is always better to travel during the day (not to those who are driving), since it is safer for us girls. Keep in mind, always spare some time to return home if you live in a distant place and rely on public transportation.
4. Pepper Spray/ Other self-defence tools
Who knows what might happen next? Always have something in your pockets that will protect you. You might think that they are useless, but you will find them very useful when the time comes. Trust me.
5. Make good use of the school resources
Most schools have protection programs, and some are specially designed for international students. For example in my school, when you finish a night class and have to walk all the way to the carpark and get your car, you can call the school and get an escort. This will make you stay safe in a lonely night. So, don’t be shy to ask for help:)