The Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Office of Global Programs works to create a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to pursue their educational and professional goals and aspirations. A New York-based public safety officer is available 24/7 to assist with international emergencies (212-998-2222).
For assistance in extremely rare situations, the University has contracted with a leading provider of international customer care services, which includes evacuation services.
Before you depart for the semester you will be instructed on how to use NYU Traveler, a Web-based information collection tool where flight and travel details, local and US telephone numbers, and emergency contact information can be stored so that NYU staff can assist you if needed.
Petty crimes like pickpocketing are minor problems in Accra. Do not walk around at night, try to stay in groups. Do not wear bags or purses that can be easily snatched.
In the residences there are small safes for all students in all of the closets. The closet doors and actual bedroom doors all lock so you can have double or triple the protection on valuables.
Many students become close during study abroad. Sometimes people get too comfortable, and there may be thefts (and "borrows") within the house that can be little (DVDs, food) or bigger (money or cell phones). Lock up your valuable items and set boundaries.
- Be aware of your belongings. Do not bring what you do not need, especially if you are going to a bar or something at night. Most people ‘lose’ things by being absent-minded or drunk.
- Never walk alone at night, whether you are male or female.
- Never bring anyone you just met back to your accommodation. If your roommate does, watch/lock up any valuables with you.
- Be aware of pickpockets in touristy places.
- Be concerned with what people might be taking from you, but also with what they might be giving you!
- Learn about the local laws of your host country and the countries you plan on visiting.
- If you travel, let your study abroad staff know where you are going and when you are supposed to be back.
Avoid underage and excessive alcohol consumption
“Overdoing it,” leads to the majority of arrests, accidents, violent crimes, rapes, and deaths suffered by American students when traveling to international destinations. As in the U.S., disturbing the peace, lewd behavior, littering, driving under the influence, drinking on the street or on public transportation may all be considered criminal activities by local authorities.
Don't import, purchase, use, or have drugs in your possession
It just makes good sense. Drug charges can carry severe penalties, including imprisonment without bail for up to a year before a case is even tried. A conviction carries several more years of imprisonment in a foreign jail. In some countries it doesn’t matter if you’re underage either; you can still be charged as an adult.
Obey the local laws
An arrest or accident during your study abroad experience can result in a difficult legal situation. Your U.S. citizenship does not make you exempt from full prosecution under another country’s criminal justice system. Many countries impose harsh penalties for violations that would be considered minor in the United States. If you find yourself in a legal jam, contact the closest U.S. consulate, U.S. consular agency, or the U.S. embassy for assistance. Keep in mind, U.S. consular employees cannot arrange for local officials to release detained American citizens.
Only use licensed and regulated taxis
Some illegitimate taxi drivers are sometimes, in fact, criminals in search of victims. Some passengers of unlicensed taxis have been robbed, kidnapped, and/or raped. When in doubt, ask the Global site staff, club or restaurant staff to summon a legitimate taxi for you.
Do not carry weapons
A pocketknife can result in a serious weapons charge while on foreign soil – even if the knife is found while being arrested for a separate offense.
Avoid participating in demonstrations and other political activities
Here in the U.S. we enjoy many liberties. However, political activities in other countries can result in detention and/or deportation by officials. Even demonstrations that are intended to be peaceful can sometimes turn violent, and you don’t want to be caught in the middle.
Keep wallets, cell phones , laptops and other valuables with you. These are the type of property that are commonly reported stolen. Crimes of Opportunity can be minimized by safeguarding your property and not leaving them unattended.
Safe and secure in your residence
In your residence, always close and lock your door even if leave for just a minute. Insist your roommate(s) do the same. Establish rules with your roommate(s) regarding visitors.
The best time to use ATMs is during the daylight hours. Use bank affiliated ATMs whenever possible. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; avoid counting or displaying money on the street.
Be aware of pickpocket situations — crowded areas e.g. subways. Men – carry wallets in front pants pocket. Women – use bags, pocketbooks etc. that zipper well; keep pocketbooks on your lap when in restaurants etc. Avoid the backs of chairs or under the table, carry your bag close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow. Avoid bags that clasp or snap shut, zippered bags are preferable.
U.S. Embassy/Consulate General
There is a new American Embassy right by Osu and only about 10 minutes from the NYU site. During orientation the first week, you will meet the Ambassador and staff. Everyone was very welcoming and they were there to help you if assistance is needed,
Embassy of the United States
Public Affairs Section
No. 24, Fourth Circular Rd., Cantonments, Accra
P.O. Box GP 2288
Telephone: (233) 21-741-150
Fax: (233) 21-741-692/741-763
You must travel with your original passport. However, it is advisable to keep a second copy of your passport with you when you travel. Also, when you travel go online and jot down the address of the embassy or consulate in your destination city. It is important to have if you lose your passport, are the victim of a crime, or somehow end up involved with the authorities.
Personal Property Insurance
While it’s not mandatory that you purchase personal property insurance for your semester abroad, we strongly recommend that you consider it before your semester begins, particularly if you are bringing electronics with you or if you plan on traveling.
Information on the CSI Insurance Agency, a company that provides personal property/effects insurance for you while abroad if you select to undertake coverage, is included here. This is the same company that offers a similar policy for students personal items on the NYU campus in New York.
Questions about this coverage should be directed to CSI Insurance Agency directly. http://www.collegestudentinsurance.com/