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The safety and security of students are always of utmost priority for Colby and all study abroad program providers, particularly given international developments over the past few years. These concerns have been intensified by recent changes in real and perceived threats to US citizens, both at home and abroad. Events since September 2001 have affected many aspects of all overseas programs. National and international security issues necessitate that you respect safety recommendations and security policies established by your sponsoring organization and the U.S. Embassy in the country of your destination.
While there is no reason to assume that going abroad will compromise your safety, you must be sure to follow safety guidelines provided by your program at all times. Your program/university will likely go over security policies and advice in depth during their orientation and we advise you to follow these carefully. Remain attentive to information provided to you and stay in contact with your program, Colby College, and your family throughout the duration of your study abroad program. Always inform your program’s resident director or contact person at the university of any incidents that may arise. You must also take personal responsibility for informing yourself of risks in locations in which you might study or travel; a good source of basic information is the U.S. Department of State Web site.
Colby College discourages travel to countries and participation in a program in a country for which there is a U.S. State Department Travel Warning in effect at the time of departure. Students wishing to travel to a country currently under U.S. State Department Travel Warning are required to submit a petition to the Travel Warning Review Committee providing a complete description of and justification for their study/travel at a Travel Warning site. If approved, the student and his/her parents will then be required to sign a second waiver as part of the application for approval process.
Note: The US State Department has advised Americans traveling anywhere to remain inconspicuous for their own safety, and we strongly support this advice. You are advised to keep a “low profile” wherever you may travel. Pay attention to culturally appropriate dress and behavior. Keep your voice down and avoid congregating in large, noisy groups, and avoid US entities considered symbols of US capitalism. Use restraint in situations that could get out of hand; your personal safety is far more important than your “honor” or your need to express yourself.
The Office of Off-Campus Study is in contact with program directors or program representatives from Non-Colby programs regarding safety and security. Links below provide the most current information on travel advisories, Colby's contingency plans, and the status of Colby's programs abroad.
Country-Specific Security Information
Emergency Plan for Off-Campus Programs in Times of Emergency
Colby College: Policy Regarding Off-Campus Programs and Cancellations
Advice on Alcohol and Drugs
Colby’s policy is to respect the laws of the host countries of its programs. Where it is not legal to use drugs, including marijuana, do not do so. Most programs have a zero tolerance policy concerning drugs. If a student is caught using illegal drugs, either by the police or by the resident director, that student may be sent home immediately, without prior notice, and with no credit or refund of fees. Students caught selling illegal drugs may be dismissed from the program and from Colby College.
While you are abroad, you are subject to the laws of the country you are in, not those of the US or your home country. If you are arrested, your home country embassy can only ensure that you receive equal treatment under the terms of local law and procedure. You should always,
Alcohol Policy - Colby Prpgrams Abroad
All students studying on Colby programs abroad are subject to the laws of the host country, including those pertaining to alcohol and/or drug purchase and/or consumption. Additionally, Colby College responds to the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act (DFSCA) by implementing measures to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs by students, faculty, and staff, on campus as well as on College sponsored programs abroad. The following has been excerpted from the Colby College student handbook and clearly states the College's position on alcohol abuse:
"Students are adults and are thus expected to obey the law and to take personal responsibility for their conduct. Colby does not police students' personal lives on or off the campus, but disciplinary action will result if a students' use of alcohol creates disorder, public disturbances, danger to himself or herself and others, or property damage. Similarly, hosts of parties or sponsoring organizations may be held accountable for violations by the College and by civil authorities under Maine law."
Please refer to the Colby College student handbook for complete details of U.S. laws and applicable legal sanctions.
While participating on Colby sponsored programs abroad, adherence to the U.S. and Maine laws shall be interpreted in the following manner: