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Staying Safe During the Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year filled with joy, laughter and cheer! They are a great time for you to spend time with your host family, express gratitude and give the gift of cultural exchange! However, the overall excitement during the holidays may also cause stress that can lead to people being more vulnerable to injuries or accidents. CIEE wants you to have a safe and enjoyable holiday! Please consider the following safety tips for the holiday season: 


1.) Don’t drink or drive, or let others drink and drive. Remember the three D’s - No drinking, no driving, no drugs! CIEE has a zero tolerance policy regarding drinking, driving and drugs. If you are ever in a situation where your friends are drinking, remember that this can put your safety, and your program in jeopardy; and we advise you to contact your host family or local coordinator and find a way to leave the situation as soon as possible. Also, never get into a car where the driver has recently been drinking alcohol or you feel may be intoxicated. 


2.) Fasten your seat belt every time you’re in a vehicle. Just because the person driving your vehicle has not been drinking alcohol, does not mean that someone else on the road has not. Also, depending on your location in the U.S, the weather may be harsh and the roads can get very slippery in colder climates. 


3.) Dress to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: jackets, layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof shoes. 


4.) Be cautious around strangers. Unfortunately, not everyone has world-peace and goodwill on their mind during the holiday season. Remember to be mindful of who you talk to, always inform your host family of your whereabouts, trust your instincts, and be assertive. If you ever feel you are in a dangerous or threatening situation, do not hesitate to call 911 or call CIEE at 1-800-448-9944. 


5.) Wash your hands. It's flu season! You don’t want to be ill during the holidays. Wash your hands often, especially after sneezing or coughing in your hands, using the restroom, and before you eat a meal. 


CIEE wishes you a safe and happy holiday!