8 international student safety tips (and not a crocodile warning in sight!)
Everyone has heard the stories of Australia being full of dangerous animals. You have to watch out for snakes, sharks, spiders, jellyfish, crocodiles and even those cute kangaroos can turn nasty if you get too close.
So, MIT student safety tips should be full of advice on how to wrestle a shark and escape from hungry koalas, right?
Sorry to say, but as an international student arriving in Australia, you’re not likely to be wrestling sharks or crocodiles any time soon. Australia is actually one of the safest countries you can possibly visit, ranked number 13 on the ‘World’s Safest Countries’ list by the Global Peace Index. Australian cities also consistently rank in The Economist’s Global Liveability Index. Sunny Perth is up there at number 14!
However, just because you’re statistically more likely to get hit by lightning than attacked by a shark in Australia, there are still a few important things you should be aware of.
Here are our 8 student safety tips for new arrivals in Australia, to help keep you out of trouble.
1. Know what to do in an emergency.
In case of an emergency, the key thing to remember is to dial 000. This number can be used to contact ambulance, fire and police services — the operator will connect you to the most appropriate service. Make sure you only use this number for a real emergency; any minor complaints can be reported to your local police station.
2. Which side are the cars coming from?
In Australia, driving is on the left-hand side of the road. In your country, cars may drive on the right. This may sound like no big deal, but some overseas visitors have been seriously injured because they forgot to check both ways before walking!
3. Be careful when you’re in the bush.
The Australian bush can be dense and expansive, and it’s important to take measures to keep yourself safe. If you plan on going bushwalking, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. During the hike, stay on the path, bring lots of water, and don’t touch spiders or snakes. A helpful hint – if you step heavily and make noise while you hike, snakes will hear you coming and stay off your path.
4. Don’t swim in dangerous ocean currents.
Many of the beaches in Australia have strong currents, or ‘rips’ under the surface, which can carry you out to sea if you’re not careful. Always swim between the red and yellow flags and make sure you’re swimming at a surf lifesaver patrolled beach. The below video will help you with tips on how to spot a rip current:
5. Stay social media safe.
If you’re coming from a country where social media is restricted, you might be opening up a Facebook or Twitter account for the first time when you arrive in Australia. Social media use does come with risks, from identity theft to trolling. Make sure you read our student guide to staying safe on social media before you open any new accounts.
6. Be smart in cities.
Australia has an incredibly low crime rate, and Perth is particularly safe. Generally, you can walk around most places without any problems, but some suburbs are less safe than others. Make sure you familiarise yourself with your local area and take sensible precautions to stay safe at night such as keeping a mobile phone on you.
7. Treat your mental health seriously.
Moving to a new country can be stressful, especially when you’re studying and trying to learn a new language at the same time. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce stress levels, and don’t be afraid to seek student support at MIT. You can check out our dedicated blog which talks about the one-on-one teacher consultations, lunchtime workshops and resources available to all students.
8. Be aware and speak up about bullying or harassment.
We pride ourselves on the warm and friendly campus environment at MIT, but it’s also our responsibility to ensure that all our students are OK, and we take it very seriously. It important that you know how to identify bullying or harassment, and not be afraid to speak up. Remember, if there’s anything at all happening to any of our students, we need to know about it. Please approach any one of our caring student support staff.
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