The recent killing of a medical student in Indonesia highlights the need to educate students on how to protect themselves, especially in volatile areas. Was this a random attack or was it a result of a planned targeted attack??
The answer may never be known. However, can students protect themselves in a foreign country?
There are several ways of avoiding trouble.
1. Stay within the university compound if possible. If accommodation is not provided, find a place that has been approved by the university. It is sometimes not wise to trust apparently “friendly” locals.
2. Stay with your friends if possible. Travel in groups that you are familiar with.
3. Avoid going out at ungodly hours. If you need to do late night studies, do inform your friends of your whereabouts.
4. Avoid altercations with locals. Stay calm and walk away. If you feel threatened, report to the police or your local university authorities.
5. Inform the embassy of your whereabouts. Seek their help if possible.
6. Trust your instinct. If you feel uncomfortable, you are probably right.
7. Know your local community. Do your homework. Avoid areas that are known to be volatile. And if possible choose a university in a safe country. Do check with the embassies/high commissions in Malaysia before you leave. For example, if you decide on a Pakistani university, then you are probably asking for trouble.
The government should offer classes to outgoing students so that they can best protect themselves in a foreign country.