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Health & Safety

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 International SOS, the world's leading provider of international customer care, 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.

Safety Tips

Students usually feel incredibly safe in China because there are generally no violent crimes since punishments are very strict. However, petty theft is fairly common. Always be aware of your belongings. After all, there are 20 million people in Shanghai!

Top Security Tips for Students

 “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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Doctors are not located on campus. You can speak to the staff on campus about how to get to the recommended hospital. The Shanghai site has an agreement set up with World Link health clinics in Shanghai. These clinics employ Western doctors and are highly recommended by NYU. Students receive information about World Link as well as their World Link membership card during orientation in Shanghai.


Students must bring all refills for prescriptions to last throughout the semester. Prescriptions are not readily available. However, students are encouraged to bring the chemical formulas for any prescriptions that they may run out of. This is the only way that the NYU Shanghai staff might assist in finding the Chinese equivalent for their prescription. American drugs are rare in China. Please be aware that prescription drugs cannot be sent to you from the U.S.

Contraception and toiletries

The best place to purchase would be Carrefour, which is similar to WalMart. There is one right near campus.

Apply Now!

US Consulate General in Shanghai

Main U.S. Consulate General Building

1469 Huai Hai Zhong Road (Near Wulumuqi Nan Lu) 200031 Shanghai China

American Citizens Services

Westgate Mall, 1038 West Nanjing Road, 8th Floor

  • Tel: (86-21) 3217-4650 ext. 2102,2103,2114
  • Fax: (86-21) 6217-2071
  • Regular Hours: 8:30am-11:30am and 1:30pm- 3:30pm
  • Mon to Fri. Closed on Tues afternoons
  • After Hours Emergencies: (86-21) 6433-3936
  • E-mail:


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.

Common Medicine Terms

泰诺 Taì Nuo Tylenol
惠菲宁 Huì Feī Nìn Robitussin
維他命C Wéi Tā Mìng C Vitamin C
保濟丸 Bǎo Jì Wán Chinese stomach medicine
止痒药膏 Zhǐ Yǎng Yào Gāo Anti-itch cream
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