Travelling abroad offers University students the opportunity to experience different cultures, broaden their worldview or, for some, experience a different nightlife for prices lower than you will ever find in this country.

Most of the time students get away with these antics with nothing more than a few bumps and scrapes and a funny anecdote to tell. However, some students aren’t so lucky and what was meant to be the experience of a life time can take a turn for the worse.

That is why it is important to research where you are going before you go away, through campaigns like “Know Before You Go”, to know what you are getting yourself into and what precautions to take. It displays loads of really useful travel information by simply typing in the name of the country you are visiting.

Take, for instance, Third-year University of Liverpool medical student Kishan Vadher and 5 of his friends from the University. They’d travelled to Spain to attend Benicassim and generally have a good time but things soon took a turn for the worse when they had their possessions stolen.

Kishan and friends in happier times, with possessions still intact.

Kishan and friends in happier times, with possessions still intact.

“We originally put our valuable stuff in lockers but three rows of lockers adjacent to ours had been broken in to so we thought it was stupid to leave them there… famous last words. We returned to our spot on the beach and realised we had been ransacked. One of the bags they emptied along the beach… like a breadcrumb trail. All in all, they took two iphones, four passports, two cameras and about €400.”

Information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office shows that reports of thefts are rising in touristy areas in Spain, a popular holidaying destination for students. Luckily for Kishan and his friends they were covered by insurance so things didn’t turn out as badly as they could have.

fco

Of course, this is just one example of what can happen when you go abroad and hopefully you never have to experience something like this. However, it is important to remember to research before you go away, just to make sure you stay safe and know what to do if something goes wrong.

With students especially likely to be the victims of crime whilst on holiday, a bit of research before travelling can go a long way. Campaigns like the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s “Know Before You Go” incentive could help prevent a once in a lifetime opportunity turning into the stuff of nightmares.