2Basic tips Don’t be paranoid, just be aware of your surroundings. If you do find yourself the victim of robbery or an attack, DO NOT FIGHT BACK! Give them what they want. If you don’t, you could be seriously injured.If they ask you for your purse, money, backpack, or wallet, the safest thing to do is just hand it over to themCarry some US Dollars in your front pocket. That way if you are approached to be robbed, you can just hand it over and they will most likely run away and leave you alone.
3Basic tipsBuy a prepaid cell phone for emergencies and calling taxis. Some homestays may provide you with one already, just ask.The police are very corrupt in Buenos Aires and are not exactly a safe friend to call “HELP!” to. They are just as likely to rob you in some instances, so just play it safe.Use common sense.DO NOT get involved with riots or protests in city squares!
4THEFTThieves distract their victims by spilling food or drink on their clothing. They offer to clean it up while someone else robs you while you are being distracted.Asking for directions or pretending to be robbed is another distraction.Use your judgment when giving directionsDO NOT help people that appear to be getting robbed!!They will do whatever they can do to divert the attention to something elseFast scooters may drive up behind and rip off backpacks, purses, cameras, clothing and jewelryGroups of children and teenagers (They ARE NOT as innocent as they make themselves out to be)
5On the streets#1 AVOID TRAVELLING IN LARGE GROUPS OF AMERICANS AND DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH LOUDLY!Americans are the most targeted due to the stereotype that they are the most wealthy and are always carrying large amounts of money with themWalk down the street with confidence, like you know where you are goingAlways be aware of your surroundingsLook for people that look suspiciousWatch for people on scooters or motorcycles on the sidewalks, they might be pickpocketsBeware of pickpockets
6On the streetsAlways try to fit in as much as possible, like you are a localIn crowded areas do not carry your backpack on your back or on one shoulderCarry it in front of you (“Pregnant Lady”)Never hang your backpack or purse on the back of your chair, bench or leave it on the groundRemain alert when using a public phoneDon’t walk around with unwanted items on youDebit cards, credit cards, passport, excess money, valuables, electronicsDo not leave the bank ATM with your money in one location, split it up!
7On the streets Don’t carry anything in your back pocket! Carry valuable stuff around your neck or around your waist, under your clothesCarry just a copy of your passport, not the actual oneALWAYS speak Spanish as much as possible!Always carry a contact card with you that includes:Homestay house numberHomestay cell numberFriend of homestay numberRadio taxi numbersProgram office numberProgram office emergency number
8Taxis ALWAYS take a Radio Taxi! Sign on the top They are the most safe taxi companies in Buenos Aires.If you leave something in the taxi, they will call you back.They are monitored by the company, so if you keep the taxi number you can always call to report lost items or problems that have occurred.How to identify a Radio TaxiSign on the top of the car“Radio Taxi” and company name usually on the back doorTaxi Number on the front doors“Radio Taxi” and companyTaxi number
9TaxisALWAYS ask how much it will cost to get to where you are going, BEFORE you agree to take the taxiIf you don’t, they may make you pay more at the end than it really should cost by changing their meters.ALWAYS make sure you have plenty of money to pay for the taxi, before you decide to take a taxiTaxi drivers are willing to stop at a bank, so you can get money from the ATM.THIS IS NOT SAFE AND YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS AT ANY TIME!They will then follow you to the ATM and threaten you to withdraw as much money as you can.
10tAXIS Calling ahead to reserve a taxi is usually a good idea They will pick you up at the designated locationThey will be there on timeThey will usually have a flat fee, which is cheaper than running the meterYou will be able to know who your driver is incase there are problems or you lost something while in the taxi
11Subte (Subway)ALWAYS make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all timesIf wearing a backpack, either put under your shoulder or on your front (“Pregnant Lady”).Hide purses under clothingDo not make eye contact with peopleThe children are usually the thieves on the Subte.One will usually distract you, while the others rob youPregnant Lady
12Colectivos (Buses) ALWAYS make sure that you have your coins ready When getting on, make sure you tell the driver where you are going so he can enter in the amount you must pay to get thereMake sure you keep your ticket from the machine, as sometimes the police will check to make sure you have oneStudy the bus routes (the bus system is very confusing) as it is easy to get lost within the cityIf lost, be very hesitant when asking directionsCarry route book with you at all timesOn bus carry your items in front of youBe aware of your surroundings as buses are extremely crowded
13At your homestay, hotel, or hostel Keep your money and your passport in a safe placeMaids in households are very commonly known for theft of American student’s itemsSometimes homestay parents have a safe where you can put your valuable items, just askKeep excess money and passport in a hidden place or a place in your room that locks (hotels and hostels will most likely give you a safe or a locker)Hostels will usually require you to bring your own lock and just provide a locker, so keep one handy if you are traveling in your free timeMake sure your homestay parents know where you are going and what time you will return, so they don’t begin to worry and then have the program provider looking for youIf you will be late, CALL!
14nightlife Drink responsibly! DO NOT DO DRUGS ! Drinking excessively will put you in dangerIt gives an ugly impression of AmericansGetting drunk in public will separate you from your host cultureNatives will ignore you, except those that want to take advantage of youIt will ruin your time abroad by drinking to get drunkGoing to the bar to enjoy a few drinks is completely normal and is encouragedDon’t drink as much as the locals would in an entire eveningDO NOT DO DRUGS !You do not know what you are getting and you could compromise a fun trip abroad by being expelled from your program
15NIghtlifeDo not take unnecessary items to boliches (clubs), most students get robbediPhonesMP3iPodsDON’T walk home alone at nightCall a taxi to take you home and wait for it in a well-lit areaStick together in groups of 3-4 or have a male escortDon’t let a stranger walk you home or take a taxi with you
16WomenDO NOT make an acknowledgement to male strangers with a smile or any type of gestureDo not feel obligated to talk to men when they attempt to have a conversationThey usually only approach you if they would like to have sex with youNever accept to go to a private place with a guyCar, apartment, any dark area, etcBy accepting to go to a private place, you have said “Yes” to having sex with them“NO” to Argentine’s does not usually mean “NO!”They are very touchy people and forward people, and once you give in to whatever they have to offer, there is usually no turning backShould not necessarily carry a purse, unless it is a crossbody purseOver the shoulder purses are really easy to stealGuard it securely
17Unwanted attentionNative men are known for making unwanted gestures or comments to American women that are very vulgarYour best option is to IGNORE them!Do not give your attention to them, just keep walkingAvoid acknowledging them, especially DO NOT smileIf you can, walk with a man to the divert attention
18TravelingIt is safer to buy tickets (autobus, Buquebus, airplanes, train, etc) before you are planning to leaveMake sure you have fully located the route to the bus station, train station, airport, or port before you make the journeyThe bus terminal (Retiro) is in an unsafe part of the city, so just be aware of your surroundings if you are taking the Subte thereReserve your hotels or hostels ahead of time and make sure you have maps to where it is located
19Always remember IT is better to be safe than sorry and enjoy your study abroad experience!`