It is that time of year when students across the country take time off from their studies to have fun! And it can be lots of fun, particularly if you travel somewhere with friends or family. But there are also some dangers to be aware of, whether you are traveling or staying close to campus. So keep reading for some tips on having a safe and fun spring break.
First and foremost, practice safety. If you are in a hotel, make sure you know who is knocking on your door before you open it. Keep your money and other important items safe by carrying your wallet in a front pocket or wearing your purse across your chest instead of hanging from one shoulder. Travel with a friend or two, because there is always safety in numbers.
Drinking is a major spring break activity for many college students. It is easy to drink too much just because you are somewhere everyone is doing it. Remember that if you are on the streets, or the beach, it is often illegal to have an open container of alcohol—a beer bottle, or a drink in a cup both count as open containers. Moreover, it is illegal to drink if you are younger than 21.
This is important to know, as law enforcement in the US takes it very seriously if they catch someone under 21 drinking. And if you are over 21 and give alcohol to someone younger, you can both be in serious trouble. In Canada, the drinking age is 19, except in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, where it is 18. Driving in both the US and Canada is illegal if you have been drinking. Remember that violating the law can jeopardize your visa status and even get you deported back home, so be smart!
Speaking of your visa status, remember to visit your Director if you plan to leave the country. If you are in the US, you must get your I-20
signed by your DSO or you may not be allowed back into the country when you return. In Canada, you must obtain an electronic Travel Authorization
(eTA) before leaving, and be sure you understand the requirements for re-entering the country. No matter where you are, be sure to speak to your Director before leaving so that we know where you are going and when to expect you back. We want to know that you are safe!
So when you take off to enjoy your spring break, be smart. Keep yourself safe, wear plenty of sunscreen, and drink lots of water! Even if you stay at home, always be aware of what is going on around you, because this is just smart behavior in public. Above all, have fun! Do something with your friends that you will always remember as one of the best times of your life.
From all of us at ESLI, have a great—and safe—Spring Break 2018!