International Students Safety Tips.

Vancouver is a safe city for students and residents. However, as in all big cities, crimes such as pickpocketing and petty theft, without violence, can occur and they do, in fact, occur. If you want to know how to prevent these situations, read on.

The most common type of crime in Vancouver is theft. To ward off an unpleasant situation, the first rule is NEVER losing sight of your personal belongings such as a purse, backpack, cell phone, wallet, house keys, etc., especially in public places, bars, and restaurants.

When you use your credit cards do not share your PIN number. When using ATMs, cover your keyboard with your hand (when entering the PIN). Do not carry large amounts of money with you, and if you decide to do so, do not show that when in public.

Make sure at least one of your friends, roommates or your host family knows where you are going, and if you will be using the Skytrain or the bus to go from one place to another.

British Columbia legal drinking age is 19. It is mandatory to present an ID to be able to access the clubs or to buy liquors. Do not accept drinks from strangers. If you are a girl, you should always pay attention to your drink in order for people not to be able to add drugs in it (If you’re a boy too; but there have been more cases related to girls).

You can walk through the main streets of the city with no issues at any time, since, especially at night, they are well lit. Try to always return accompanied on the way back home. If you find yourself a little lost or your phone is low battery, the best choice is to call a taxi. Do not hitchhike, or accept rides from strangers who offer to take you home.

While walking down the street, you should always be alert. Look who is walking around you and check if they get too close. Walk with confidence and trust your instinct. If some stranger approaches you and does not give you good vibes, try to dodge him and get away as soon as possible. Change your direction if you feel someone is following you.

If you find yourself walking in the dark it is better not to use headphones and listening to music because it prevents you from hearing strange background noises. In case of assault do not try to fight, protect yourself and try to distract the assaulter in order to escape. Call the emergency line 911, right away.

People who wander in the streets usually ask for money. Many of them have a drug addiction and alcoholism problems. If you give them money you will be contributing to their addictions. These people have shelters that are there to help them; they can offer them food, clothes, etc. If you really want to help these people it would be better to volunteer for a charity institution.

Vancouver besides being a beautiful city, has a high quality of life, and for this reason, it´s ranked one of the best cities in the world to live, as written in this article published by “El Economista”, affirms that the city was ranked the 5th best in the world in 2017.

According to Safe Around , Vancouver is 82% safer than other cities across the country, as for example, Toronto and Montreal (Both 81%).

Moreover, in addition to safety, Vancouver has many other advantages. You can enjoy its mix of nature and an urban environment without leaving downtown. Besides, it offers many services and infrastructures, boasts low unemployment rate and a tolerant and respectful multicultural environment.

Canadians are very polite, so we recommend you to be respectful and always use the words Sorry, Please and Thank you! 🙂

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